The leader of Cardiff Council was accused of further damaging staff
morale this week when he appeared to blame front-line social
workers for the council’s poor social services.
At a meeting of more than 200 staff, service users and the public
to discuss last September’s damning joint review, Russell Goodway
called for a radical review of the department and drew attention to
issues of poor timekeeping and missed appointments highlighted in a
recent consultation exercise.
“We all have to accept that for far too long social services in
Cardiff have been delivered in the interests of the provider rather
than the service user,” Goodway said. “For too long, insufficient
account has been taken of the needs and wishes of those vulnerable
people who depend on the services that we provide.”
Social worker and Cardiff councillor Sue Lent said front-line staff
– already under huge pressure because of recruitment and retention
problems – were likely to find his speech damaging. She said his
remarks showed an inability to appreciate the role of senior
management in the department’s problems.
Welsh assembly member Jonathan Morgan said it was a disgrace that
Goodway had blamed front-line workers and called for the council
leader and senior managers to take responsibility.
Welsh assembly minister Jane Hutt has given the council six months
to come up with an action plan.