Powys Liberal Democrats call for Council Chief Executive to remove himself from management responsibilities on Children’s Social Services

Following the publication this week of the damning Care & Social Services Inspectorate for Wales’s (CSSIW) report into Powys County Council’s Children’s Social Services, the Welsh Liberal Democrat group on the Council have questioned the role of the Chief Executive in the recovery process.

Powys County Council’s Draft Safeguarding Improvement Plan outlines a range of actions needed and names a person or persons with lead responsibility for the delivery of each one. On many of them, the Chief Executive has been given responsibility.

The Powys Liberal Democrats believe this is inappropriate.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Powys County Council, the Council’s Leader of the Opposition, said:

“The view of the Powys Liberal Democrat Group on the Council is that the Chief Executive should remove himself from direct management responsibilities associated with turning this service around.”

“He was the Council’s Head of Paid Service throughout the period of serious deterioration. That fact and his statements to the media and council since the publication of the CSSIW’s report means that we believe his authority has been severely undermined and that his ability to lead the recovery process is in severe doubt.”

“We have a new, highly-experienced Interim Director of Social Services and equally-experienced Interim Head of Children’s Services in post who have been tasked with making the necessary improvements. The Chief Executive should step aside and let them get on with the job.”

“As well as making our position clear at a meeting of the full county council this week, I have written to the Council Leader to urge her to take this step.”

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