Lewis drops lead adult member plan

The Department of Health has dropped plans to legislate to make local authorities appoint a lead councillor with responsibility for all adult services, after opposition from councils.

Town halls had been opposed to the measure, proposed in guidance on the role of director of adult social services, because it would remove local flexibility on political arrangements.

The move also means the DH will not consider forcing councils to make the director of adult social services responsible for other services, including housing, lifelong learning and community safety, as originally suggested.

In a letter to councils in July, care services minister Ivan Lewis said the DH still planned to introduce legislation to ensure councils include adult social care in the portfolio of one executive member.

But he said: “It is my belief that there should be local discretion over the precise scope of the remit of this member.”

The original proposal was intended to give adult social care leads an overview of council services to promote well-being, in accordance with the agenda in the white paper on health and social care.

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