Monday evening saw the City Council and its committee meeting, you can read the agendas here. At the Leisure, Arts and Communities Committee I welcomed the report on the Community Safety Partnership's local action fund. I did question why the action plan covered two years yet the budget available covers only one year.
The Social Work and Health Committee looked at a report on customer care in social work. I welcomed this report, it is important that we listen to the people for whom we deliver a service. Council services should be responsive to the needs and expectations of service users. I think that it is good that we listen to service users in this way. We need to listen to those who we serve and this is important especially in social work. I also welcome the fact that this report looks at complaints as well as compliments. Obviously we must take complaints seriously but should also be keen to listen to situations where social work staff are complimented.
There was also a report about how the Social Work Department encourages healthy lifestyles amongst its workforce. Clearly in the Social Work Department, and in many other departments in the council, the staff are the main resource. In social work staff are often working in situations which put stress on their physical and emotional well-being. As a committee we are asking people to undertake these tasks on our behalf, therefore we must take seriously our responsibilities to look after their well-being.
The Policy and Resources Committee considered a number of important reports. There was a report on changes to the voluntary redundancy policy of the council . Firstly, I was delighted to see that the threat of compulsory redundancies has been removed, it shouldn't have been there in the first place. I have some problems with this report. clearly we are in difficult economic times and the council must adapt like many other organisations. I am really concerned that this report is partial, in that it does not set out how these redundancies will occur. I want to know what impact this will have on the service delivery. I am pleased that the Chief Executive has stated that he will report on service changes to the council. Much more information is required on these proposals.