Children and young people in Powys are being put at risk of harm by the Council’s Social Services.
A report published today by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales found serious failings at the heart of the service.
This publication revealed a culture of ‘weak corporate and political leadership and very poor service management’, according to the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Group on the Council, Cllr James Gibson-Watt.
As a result, he said, ‘vulnerable children and young people in the care of the local authority have been exposed to risk of serious harm and sub-standard services. As well as affecting their lives now, these failings will have an impact on those children and young people for years to come.”
“It must be stressed that the Inspectors praised front-line staff for their dedication and resilience in doing their best in circumstances in which clear leadership and sound management were sadly lacking. The report leaves us in no doubt that these very disturbing findings are due to failures at a corporate and senior management level in the council.”
Cllr Gibson-Watt added:-
“As Council Members we have a collective responsibility as corporate parents to ensure that Children’s Services Improvement Plan, currently being considered by the CSSIW, is fully implemented without delay. The primary responsibility for carrying that out lies with the Council Leader and Cabinet Portfolio-holder for Children’s Services and the Council’s Senior Management Team. Other public bodies, such as the Local Health Board, must also play their part. As Leader of the Opposition on the Council I will ensure that all their actions are subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny; and that all council members are regularly provided with the data and performance information they need to provide that scrutiny effectively.”
“I and my colleagues will support the Cabinet in its endeavours to put right what has gone so badly wrong, but will not hesitate to expose failings whenever they occur. The children and young people of Powys deserve nothing less.”
Commenting Kirsty Williams, Welsh Lib Dem AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“These findings are clearly extremely disappointing. Our most vulnerable children are being let down and put at harm by an inadequate service.
“The report is clear that frontline staff are not to blame, and they are showing resilience and professionalism despite a lack of support, leadership and direction. This is a failure of management.
“The Independent/Conservative coalition need to get a grip on the situation and that needs to happen quickly.”