Service fails vulnerable
CONGRATULATIONS to News reporter Liza Williams for reporting on the ranking of Wirral social services, as most users of the service will agree it provides one of the worst services in England and fails the vulnerable clients it is there to help.
This has sadly been confirmed in detail by the Care Quality Commission in its recently published report.
Council chiefs say they are taking the findings very seriously.
Too right they should.
They are the very people who have been responsible for the progressive decline of the social services department, to the point that it is bordering on being unfit for purpose, something I, and many others, Šknow from bitter and traumatic personal experiences.
Sadly the chief officers responsible will not be held to account as they would if these results were in the private sector. Instead they will no doubt be disappearing shortly with a lucrative early retirement or redundancy package. It’s about time the elected members showed their teeth, bit the bullet and held those responsible to account for failing the most vulnerable members of the Wirral community, before there are fatalities, as sadly reported nationally on an all too frequent basis.
FRANK Field has done a great job in identifying some of the causes of child poverty and the barriers to tackling it.
According to Save the Children, more than one in 10 children are living in severe poverty and the numbers of children affected rose by 400,000 over the final years of the previous Government.
The Birkenhead MP’s experience and knowledge of this issue led to his appointment by the Coalition Government to review our approach to this problem.
In Wirral we have a network of Sure Start and children’s centres that do a fantastic job in supporting mums and dads with the really important early years of a child’s life. I believe Frank Field’s suggestions in how we can make Sure Start even better, by involving community and faith organisations with expertise, will help Sure Start to support the children most at risk of poverty.
As he says, it is not so much who parents are – what their jobs are – but what parents do. How they nurture their children, the evidence shows, determines a child’s life.
Cllr Karen Hayes
Wirral Council’s Sure Start Champion
Get a grip
I RECENTLY read about the vessel that was arrested in Birkenhead and it brought back a lot of memories of the efforts we in the docks made on behalf of the seamen who toiled on these death traps.
The dockers, by their solidarity with these poor unfortunates who sailed on these ships, resolved issues ship owners refused to resolve.We won every case.
What always made me angry was why weren’t other workers in ports these ships frequented showing their solidarity, and impounding the vessels?
It isn't the first and rest assured it wont be the last, such is the nature of the beast that owns these death traps, but by workers showing their support and taking direct action they can help those less fortunate.
Don’t close school
I WAS shocked to hear the council had decided to close Cole Street Primary (December 1) at the cabinet meeting – a very shortsighted move considering the number of children in that area.
David Armstrong is quoted as saying “Travel to alternative ... provision is not difficult” – has he ever had to get young children to school?
Small children should not have to travel so far, they need to be in their own community and not everyone has cars.
ŠI do feel that the members of the council who made this decision need to look again at the situation and reconsider the position before many children’s education is disrupted and made more difficult for all concerned.
Mistakes were made in the consultation procedure which should be addressed and I quote from the council notes – “in respect of the concerns raised over perceived lack of clarity of information, the interim director reported that a full and proper consultation process had been followed”.
However, there had at that time also been a proposal to build a new school in Birkenhead Park; and Children’s Services had not wanted to raise any false hopes in relation to this.ŠThe interim director accepted that this approach could have been construed as not providing enough information.
He reflected that there had been a silent period for the schools, but he was keen to learn from this and would not make the same mistake again.