Call for Full Investigation into Kemback Closure Controversy

Kevin Keenan

 2 April 2013

I consider that the Administration and therefore the Council, missed an opportunity to start to heal the wounds that have been created through this sad and sorry affair which has left individuals with so much uncertainty and anxiety about their future.

The Council's own recent survey indicated that it is not a listening Council - something which I think was demonstrated last week, with no Opposition Councillor prepared to support the SNP Administration.   

Although the Administration have to date refused to listen, myself and other Members of the Labour Group have tried to do what we can to hear the pleas from the individuals concerned.

One of the speakers from the deputation made an extremely scathing attack on Council’s Social Work Department.   

I have always been of the opinion that it has been due to the SNP Administration's political and unhealthy determination to close Kemback Street that has gotten us into this position and not any Officer in the Social Work Department.

However, now that the complaint has been heard in the public arena, Dundee City Council's own debating Chamber, there must be a full investigation.

Therefore I have made this request to the Chief Executive, Mr Dorward.

I personally would wish to know what was the scope and the previous plan in relation to the consultation exercise.  

The Administration has continued to say that the closure of the Kemback Street Centre was not a cost saving exercise.    

If this is the case, then why were staff so ill prepared when meeting with service users?   

I would hate to think that we have allowed members of staff to be placed in such a position that, when meeting to discuss individual's needs, they were unable to offer any indication of what type of future service that would meet or exceed their service plan currently offered at Kemback Street Centre.

There needs to be a full investigation as to how this whole sorry affair has been handled to date.   

The Council needs to be open, transparent and do what it can to heal the wounds it has created.

After receiving the Inspectorate Report and on hearing that the individuals have Petitioned for a Judicial Review, this seems to have set the Council into some type of panic which I consider will not lead to positive outcomes for anyone concerned - council or service user.

The Labour Group will be looking for more than just the Convener to go if this Consultation is badly handled a second time.


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