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‘I’m going nowhere’

Created on 18/09/2020 @ 10:43
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A director has pledged that she will stay at Powys County Council (PCC) to make sure the “journey to improvement” reaches its destination and goes beyond.

At this week’s cabinet meeting the annual report for 2019/20 from the Director of Social Services, Ali Bulman, was considered by councillors.

Social Services face a crunch conference with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), on October 9, when it will explain what improvements have been made to turn Children’s Social Services around following a damning report in October 2017.

Ms Bulman took the helm in April 2018, six months after the Children’s Services report, and said: “In the introduction, I have outlined my personal commitment to Powys.

“Not just in overseeing the immediate improvement of our services, but long term investment to see these improvements through and develop a culture of continuous improvement.”

Ms Bulman said that due to the pandemic, the report was later than usual and was due to be submitted to CIW by the end of the month.

During 2019/20 she pointed out that her senior leadership team had been completed with the arrival of Michael Gray as Head of Adult Services, while Dylan Owen, the Head of Adult Services Commissioning, had seen his remit extended to include Children’s Services Commissioning.

Ms Bulman added that further on down, leadership positions had been filled and that having the right team in place is a “a cornerstone of our improvement journey”.

She also singled out Jack Straw, the Chairman of the Improvement and Assurance Board and Bill Hodgson, for his input.

She added: “The Improvement and Assurance Board have been absolutely instrumental in our journey to improvement and I’m immensely grateful for that.”

Portfolio holder for Adult Social Services, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said: “Our services are changing, but to a vision. Our senior management are great in expressing that vision to front line staff, and it’s all about putting our residents first.

“We now know our social services in a way that we never have before.”

Portfolio holder for Children’s Services, Cllr Rachel Powell, said: “From my perspective it’s poignant as it gives us an opportunity to appreciate where we have come from and how much progress has been made.

“What’s important is how we as a council value our front line staff, it’s an exciting time we know our challenges but also how to get through it as well.”

The report was noted by the cabinet.

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