South Glamorgan loses chief as feud rolls on

South Glamorgan social services director Chris Perry has taken
early retirement.

The move comes a month after assistant director Alan Griffin was
suspended on full pay pending an investigation into job

Perry is understood to have recorded nearly 100 complaints
against Griffin.

The council denies that Perry’s early retirement and Griffin’s
suspension are linked.

It has also emerged that Griffin had produced an internal report
on restructuring, suggesting changes in the divisional structure of
services for children.

The report also says that criticism is seen as disloyalty and
adds: ‘Staff are unwilling to voice their opinions for fear of
being branded troublemakers. The culture of fear and mistrust has
affected children and families.

‘Staff have felt unsupported by the organisational culture and
have struggled against the resulting demotivation and low morale,’
the report says.

Insiders said the report by Griffin, who heads the children’s
and families division, reflects months of dispute over approach
between Perry and Griffin.

Perry went on holiday to Spain shortly after Griffin’s
suspension was announced, and rumour had been rife among social
workers that he would not return.

Perry says the department is one of the best run in the UK.
‘There are people around who would like to think otherwise – I
don’t know why.’

The developments in South Glamorgan come as the successor
authority, Cardiff City, recruits its first social services
director. Perry is understood not to have applied.

Under local government reorganisation in Wales, South Glamorgan
will cease to exist in April next year.

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