More upheaval at Camden

Social services in Camden is facing increased uncertainty
following the reported departure of its lead council member for
social services and health, and further speculation over the
reasons for social services director Jane Held’s departure,
write Katie Leason and Derren Hayes.

Penny Abraham, who is the council’s executive member for
social services and health, is expected to leave the
council’s cabinet but to stay on as a councillor.

Abraham’s departure follows the shock resignation of
social services director Jane Held in December.

In a meeting last week, social workers were told by managers
“in a round about way” that one of the reasons for
Held’s departure was that she had “taken her eye off
the ball at home due to activities outside”, Unison

Held, as co-chairperson of the Association of Directors of
Social Services’ children and families committee, put
together the ADSS’ comprehensive response to the
government’s children’s green paper.

However, Andrew Cozens, president of the ADSS, said both Held
and Camden chief executive Moira Gibb had assured him that
wasn’t a factor as she worked on it in her own time in the

At the meeting Gibb told staff there was an agreement that there
would be “no kiss and tell”, over why Held

Unison is concerned that some of the 46 social workers jobs
seconded to Camden and Islington care trust could be threatened by
financial problems. Unison believes the trust – which
provides mental health services for the two London boroughs –
is around £4 million overspent and service cutbacks and job
losses are likely.

The trust refutes the £4 million figure and said it is on
target to break even by the end of March, after being £1.5
million in the red in December, through using less agency

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