POWYS COUNTY Council is “determined to deliver improvements” as representatives met the Welsh Government to discuss how to turn around its Children’s Services following a damning inspection report.
Council Leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris and Acting Chief Executive David Powell met with Alun Davies, the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, on Monday, November 20.
Part of the discussion included a request to provide a support package to help respond to the Care and Social Services Inspectorate report that was published in October.
It is estimated that the department will need around £4 million to improve the service and a further comprehensive plan will be needed by mid January.
Last week, Cllr Rosemarie Harris wrote to Welsh Government Ministers asking them to exercise their powers to provide statutory support to the council, using their powers under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.
Cllr Harris said: “It was a constructive meeting and work is now underway with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and partners to develop an appropriate support package to support our improvement work in response to the CSSIW inspection.
“We already have an improvement team with experts from key areas in place to support the service on its improvement journey.
“We have asked the Welsh Government to provide support to help deliver improvement.
“The council has submitted its improvement plan which is being reviewed by CSSIW and Welsh Government officials.
“We are determined to deliver improvements within the service and will provide regular information on our progress.”
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “The Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services met Cllr Harris and the acting chief executive to discuss the request and the current position in the local authority.
“There was a useful discussion and work is now underway to develop an appropriate support package with Powys Council, the WLGA and other partners.
“The council has confirmed Phil Evans’ appointment as Interim Director of Social Services and put in place an Improvement Board to oversee the actions of the director and provide constructive challenge.
“We expect to work with the local authority to strengthen the proposed actions and ensure the plan provides a realistic, long-term pathway to significantly improved and sustainable Children’s Services in Powys.
“A further statement on the scope and timetable for the support package will be provided once it has been agreed and there will be regular updates on progress on both social services and corporate improvement.”