Councillor Thewliss for the SNP moved a different amendment saying that there huge concerns. She couldn’t even get hold of a copy of the current assessment to look at. She said the council needs to get it right before the move on to the next stage.
Councillor Mason for the Liberals backed the call for an independent review with an independent chair. He said there were 4 key issues that they had to look at.
1. A conflict between the 2 aims of the process – better services and cutting costs. This must be brought out and properly examined.
2. What kind of better services do service users want because the current process doesn’t lead to the outcomes that people want
3. The phrase “Needs not history” is much easier to say than do. 20 years of getting services cannot be dismissed easily.
4. How have social work department attitudes changed and have they changed enough.
Councillor Green from Independent Labour said there was a need to step back from the process and be seen to so. The next step into mental health will be very difficult and the council should want time to look at this properly.
In his summing up Councillor Alderslowe noted the consensus on the problems that had emerged and that people wanted an independent review. He said any review should also look at people who had already been through the process.
He then on behalf on the Green Party Group accepted the Labour Party amendment.
The Final Motion
The official position of Glasgow City Council is now:
Council recognises there is some concern from service users, carers, day care centre staff, social work staff, professionals and unions over the process of Personalisation.
Social Work Services has commissioned an external working group on this subject, comprising members of other authorities, carers groups and service providers. In acknowledgement of concerns being raised by some service users, Social Work Services will undertake to widen the membership of this scrutiny panel to include more representatives from service users and carers. The panel will also be widened to include elected members of all political parties.
Commentary – what does it mean?
First the council acknowledges that the personalisation process has caused some concern. This is not really very damaging to the existing process and means that there may be some changes but possibly not.
There will be no further Scrutiny Panels until after the election.
The shape of the new council may determine whether there is any actual change in or through the Scrutiny Panel process.
Indications from within the council is that it is business as usual and that the motion that was passed is unlikely to mean much in practice. In the 18 months that the personalisation process has been running, the Scrutiny Panel has only met twice.