Things have to change, says councillor

Coun Tony Williams
Coun Tony Williams
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A SHOCKING report into Blackpool’s children’s services department should act as a wake-up call for other town hall services, a top councillor has warned.

Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said the Ofsted report should “send out alarm bells to other departments within the council”.

The report, revealed in last Friday’s Gazette, branded the council’s child protection services as “inadequate” prompting a cross-party pledge to make immediate improvements.

But Coun Williams said other areas of the council needed fresh scrutiny too.

He said: “The recent Ofsted report came as a shock to everyone and I am certain council leader Coun Simon Blackburn will be pulling out all the stops to make sure the issues highlighted are rectified.

“However, I hope the report also sends out alarm bells to other departments.

“We have some terrific individuals and departments that go the extra mile, but I am worried some employees don’t understand the priorities. The culture where seeing how quickly you can pass a problem on to another department, or blindly and speedily forwarding an email in the belief you can tick the box as ‘job done’, has to change.”

Coun Blackburn said he had already held discussions about the need to beef up scrutiny of council departments.

He said: “We need to make greater use of sector-led, peer reviews which involves other councils looking at what we do, and more customer engagement and satisfaction work to ensure firstly we have an accurate picture of how effective our services are, and secondly to ensure we are matching our residents ambitions.”