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
    problems.

    “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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