Power vacuum is ‘threat to services’.

Directors of social services at councils which fell into no overall
control after the recent local elections could find their services
affected by the resulting power vacuum.

Following Labour’s poor showing at the elections in England and
Wales earlier this month, several councils it previously ran
including Doncaster, Leeds, St Helens, Slough, Swansea, Cardiff and
Bridgend moved to NOC.

Social care consultant and former social services director Peter
Smallridge said the lack of direction from an absence of political
cohesiveness resulting from a hung council could sometimes cause

“The chief executive and social services director need to be able
to operate at a fairly sophisticated political level if they are to
stand their corner and protect the services from financial
pressures,” he added.

Sherry Bradley, former chair of the social services committee at
Leeds Council, said she was concerned money could be diverted from
social services to parks and highways because of a change in
political priorities.

Christine Small, former chair of the social services committee at
Slough Council, said the one-star social services department was
progressing and that it would be “foolish” for new politicians not
to support officers.

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