Directors bemoan lack of Whitehall clout

The Association of Directors of Social Services has criticised
social care’s lack of influence in government, warning it will
hinder the development of integrated adult and children’s

The ADSS unanimously backed a resolution attacking the “ongoing
lack of strong, coherent and sufficiently senior voices in policy
matters” in the Department of Health and Department for Education
and Skills.

It urged the departments to “take action to address the impact this
is having on developing integrated services as a matter of

The move came as the Local Government Association warned that the
two departments’ hostility towards councils could weaken local
government after the election.

John Ransford, director of education and social policy at the LGA,
told delegates that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s
10-year vision for local government, which promised to enhance
councils’ role, was not shared across Whitehall.

He said the DoH was particularly hostile to councils, while the
“jury was out” on the DfES under Ruth Kelly.

Ransford said the UK had become the most centralised country in
western Europe, leading to inefficient services and limited

But Camden Council chief executive and former ADSS president Moira
Gibb said councils still had “a range of powers to help our

“We still have the opportunity to make much more of the role of
local government – even if we have fewer powers in the future,” she

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