County Cllr. Janet Duncton Writes
Children’s Services – As residents know we had a pretty poor OFSTED report into West Sussex Children’s Services. When this happens there’s only one thing to do and that’s start the process of putting things right.
First thing to say is this is not our Children’s Homes they are all rated Good or Outstanding. It was more the shortfall in Social workers. We were 20% down which meant that the others had much too big a workload. We have managed to put this back to just a 2% shortfall and still improving. This will not be a quick job.
However it’s going in the right direction and we have a Commissioner working with our Children’s department – John Coughlan CBE who is also Chief Executive of Hampshire County Council. He pulls no punches and although we will probably take 2 years plus to get to where we need to be I have every confidence that we will achieve our goals. Not only with John but we have a new Chief Executive, Becky Shaw, who we share with East Sussex. East Sussex also has an outstanding Children’s Services so we have two very experienced Chief Officers who know their stuff.
The Fire & Rescue Service is also doing well after some criticism following an inspection by HMIFR. Up to date equipment has been purchased to make sure they are as safe as possible in all situations. We have also joined with Surrey County Council for our Contact Centre. This is a brand new building in Surrey and we no longer use the one we had in Haywards Heath. The expectations are that this will save 1 million pounds year on year.
I know Potholes are a problem but I can assure residents that I do report them as often as I know about them. There are certain rules about the depth of them before they take action but, if you see one with the white line around it, you know action is soon coming.
Please contact me on 07979 152898 if you have a local issue that I should know about.