Staff anger at ‘scapegoating’

Social workers in the Vale of Glamorgan claim that middle
management, rather than senior management, is taking the blame for
its highly critical joint review.

Following the social services joint review in September last
year, the Improvement and Development Agency was brought in to help
produce a new framework for social services.

Under this, the number of operational managers in both adult
services and children’s services was reduced from four to three in
each service. Just one manager kept her job leaving five posts
vacant. Two new operational managers were created in the
performance management, Best Value and commissioning division after

The five vacant jobs and two new posts were advertised
internally because the job was radically changed, said James
Cawley, director of community services. Two appointments were made.
The remaining five posts are being advertised externally and
previous internal applicants will be reconsidered. If they fail to
get the job they can be considered for team manager level.

Mary Bell, Vale of Glamorgan Unison chairperson, said:
“Knowledge that the majority of operational managers, who represent
a key level of management, were unsuccessful in obtaining new
appointments is a bewildering decision, particularly when the joint
review criticised senior levels of management, who on the whole
have kept their jobs.”

However, Cawley countered: “I wasn’t in post at the time, nor
was the head of children’s services, and there is a new post of
head of strategy and performance management.

“I can categorically say that no middle managers have taken the
rap for the joint review. We made it clear when the joint review
came out that we weren’t looking for scapegoats.”

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