Thursday, 16 October 2014

Rochdale Council: Politics in your Backyard

Selfies; New Chief a rising Star; Adult Care; Foreign Policy   

COUNCIL leader, Richard Farnell, told Rochdale Full Council last night that he wouldn't be putting any pictures of himself on the Internet.   Meanwhile, Labour Councillor Karen Danczuk behind him sprawled like a lounge lizard sniggered from where I was in the public gallery I couldn't see any sign of cleavage but I could see she wasn't doing much tweeting last night.   

A motion on Gaza was moved by Councillor Farnell seeking to get Israel and Hamas to negotiate a permanent ceasefire.  The Conservative leader Councillor Dearnley moved an amendment which was lost.  The Conservatives considered that such foreign policy motions were futile and merely 'grandstanding'.  It is interesting that a Rochdale Labour Council should be so keen on foreign policy today, I understand that for much of the 1930s the Labour Party took the view that a future Labour Government wouldn't have a foreign policy no doubt as a reaction against historic British colonialism.  Today, far away issues like the Middle East are close to the heart of Labour politicians.   Indeed nowadays, almost the smallest of political enclaves seem to want to have a foreign policy position.

The appointment of Steve Rumbelow as the new Chief Executive for Rochdale was announced.  Councillor Farnell said he was 'universally recognised as a rising star' in local authority administration, and he came from Burnley which had similar difficulties to Rochdale.   

Gail Hopper, Director of Children's Services presented a glowing account of an ever improving service.  Ofsted having inspected Rochdale as well as Rotherham, Oldham, and Camden, was had yet to publish their report on Rochdale.  But Ms. Hopper said the signs were good. 

The Cabinet Member for Adult Care reported about the rise in requests for 'Deprivation of Liberty' assessments following a legal judgement that these must be taken in a 'wider number of care situations'.  The council has allocated more resources to Adult Care to assist in this. 

This week, the Daily Express reported that there had been a study by the Care Quality Commission that 'shows that the “variations of care” means sufferers (from dementia) are left for hours without food or drink'.  But perhaps old folk in Rochdale has no need to worry because Councillor Iftikar Ahmed, the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care told the Council:

'Lyn Romero, the national lead professional social worker for adult care, ... (had visited Rochdale recently and) I am pleased to say that she was very impressed with our social workers, noting their commitment and positive spirit, and posted some very complimentary tweets!'  

Get away with you!  It's very reassuring to elderly people to know that  both Councillor Karen Danczuk and  the 'lead professional social worker' Lyn Romero are abreast with modern technology and know there stuff when it comes to twitter. 

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