Cheshire director urges colleagues to stand up to councillors

Directors of children’s services must speak out on political issues when children’s vital interests are at stake even in opposition to elected members, the National Children and Adult Services conference heard yesterday.


Joan Feenan, director of children’s services at Cheshire Council, told a session on children’s services leadership she had spoken out about the government’s plan to abolish the authority and create two unitary councils for the county.


Feenan, whose views will be outlined in a national newspaper interview next week, said she opposed the move to “break up a very good children’s services authority”, which she claimed would create one or two years of disruption for services.


She said: “It does chime with the political leadership in my county but if it didn’t I would still say it.”


Local government reorganisation was also challenged by John Kemmis, chief executive of looked-after children’s charity Voice, who said: “What children need is stability.”  


The government is proposing to create nine new unitaries in areas where there is currently two-tier local government.


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