Hutt avoids using sanctions on Cardiff

Welsh health minister Jane Hutt came within one vote of being
ordered to impose statutory directions on Cardiff Council last week
following two critical inspection reports on its social services
for children and young people.

During an assembly debate the presiding officer cast his vote in
her favour on technical grounds.

Jonathan Morgan, social services spokesperson for the
Conservatives, accused Hutt of acting in her own party’s political
interest by failing to issue directions.

Hutt said that, although there was still “serious concern”, recent
changes including the appointment of a new director and the arrival
last week of a new head of children’s services meant it would not
be “proportionate” for her to issue directions. The assembly’s
counsel general had warned her that any such action could be open
to legal challenge.

Instead, Hutt will write to Cardiff setting out what improvements
are needed and how this will be monitored (news, page 14, 20

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