Kemback Street Report Findings Must be On the Council's  Agenda for Discussion

1 February 2013

Having received the Pre Agenda papers for the Scrutiny Committee, I was disappointed that the Care Inspectorate Report and its findings as to the lack of consultation and how the service users and their families were treated by Dundee City Council did not form part of the Agenda. 

I was advised by Officers that the Standing Orders of the Scrutiny Committee did not allow this Report to be taken.

I have therefore written to the Head of Democratic and Legal Services requesting that this item be placed as a matter of urgency on either the Policy & Resources Committee or the Social Work & Health Committee.

Council have now been in receipt of this report for some considerable time and I think that it is deplorable that there has been no public apology given to the users of Kemback Street Centre and their carers.

I will be asking how much money was spent on the original consultation and how much money they intend spending doing the job properly.  

It is a pity that the Administration chose not to listen to people and barge ahead with disregard effectively causing grief and anxiety and no doubt the public purse considerably.

I have issued this press statement in the hope that public opinion will bring pressure to bear on the current Administration to do the right thing and deliver justice to the users of Kemback Street – treating them with the respect and dignity on this occasion be prepared to listen to their plea.

The text of an earlier news release issued by Councillors Kevin Keenan and Helen Wright reads :  

Kemback Street Adult Resource Centre 

“No one can ever suggest that the Report produced by the Care Inspectorate is anything other than an accurate illustration of how the SNP Administration treated the families, carers and service users of the Kemback Street Resource Centre.

Bailie Helen Wright said no Officer from the Social Work Department should be expected to shoulder the responsibility for this damming Report.

This Report is the full responsibility of the SNP Administration and its political decision-makers as no Opposition Councillor, having listened to the Deputations to Council, supported the closure of Kemback Street.

This Report is so bad, that I consider that the Leader of the Council, Ken Guild or the Convener of Social Work, Councillor Ken Lynn should consider their position.

Cllr Keenan said, “I echo the call by Bailie Wright for one or both to take full responsibility and do the decent thing of making the apology and stepping aside.” 

At the last meeting in the City Chambers, we heard from four Deputations just looking for Councillors to listen to them.   

One Deputation from Downs Syndrome Scotland highlighted the need for meaningful dialogue with the service users and the need for this to be carried out using a variety of alternative methods of communication regularly checking that the message was being fully understood by the individual.  

The Deputation emphasised the importance for the need of the user to fully understand the intentions of Council in relation to their current and future care provision

The most vulnerable of individuals and their carers and families have been treated with nothing other than contempt by the SNP Administration.

We, as a Labour Group, have written to the Chief Executive to ask what action will be taken in the short and long-term.

We consider that the closure of Kemback Street should STOP and should not be revisited for some considerable time, allowing time to heal the up-set caused.”


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