Wednesday 25 March 2015

Lollipop sweeteners

In a somewhat bizarre move, and a month after the budget, the council decided to issue a press release the other day about the handful of services 'saved' by the Executive Board, including of course, that old red herring, lollipop patrols.

Whether this was an attempt to use the press office for a bit of thinly disguised electioneering on behalf of local Labour party candidates is anyone's guess. To make matters worse, the Llanelli Star dutifully transformed the headline to 'Carmarthenshire council to prioritise children's safety in budget cut choices'. Instead of handing out free tins of soup to boost sales, the paper might been better advised to look beyond the spin and nonsense churned out by County Hall.

A relatively simple check would have revealed that within the budget, £173,000 has been cut from social work teams, £100,000 from fostering support, £75,000 from Behavioural Support, £35,000 from Women's Aid, and so on. In addition, recent reports from the Ombudsman and the Wales Audit Office show that they're not overly impressed with the council's record on Child safeguarding either.

There is more to 'prioritising children's safety' than a quick, disingenuous PR stunt over lollipop patrols.

At the other end of the age scale, you may have seen the reports that firms engaged by the council to carry out home care for the elderly have been paying their employees considerably less than the minimum wage - Cneifiwr's latest post is a 'must read' on the story.

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