I note from tonight’s Express & Star headline piece, that Walsall Council is still failing to ensure the care, safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our society. Despite reassurances that all was improving, and that we should all be overjoyed that our social care provision had finally been rated ‘adequate’, it seems even the cabinet have now realised that their assurances were just bluster and that they have indeed, still got terrible problems with the management and implementation of one of their most crucial and sensitive areas of provision, one that quite literally can be a matter of life and death.
The reason I repeat the article here is that I feel the issue will otherwise pass most readers by; the article hasn’t yet appeared online, The Walsall Advertiser site is currently missing in action, and other local media seems not to have noticed. It’s also highly unlikely that the Council will tell you about it. It’s over a year since the Palliative Care auction screw up, and also over a year since the BBC exposed one company involved with social care in Walsall as cramming calls in order to maximise profit. After all these incidents, we were assured of change, scrutiny and none of it was going to happen again. We can now see that that was PR bullshit, and now following an audit, things seem little changed.
The most worrying aspect of all this unpleasantness is that Mike ‘Blofeld’ Bird with his uncharismatic and supine sidekicks Ault and McCracken, seem to believe that huge amounts of money – ten million pounds or more over three years – can somehow be saved in a department that is clearly already dysfunctional, ineffective and not fit for purpose. When the chips are down, our councillors would rather erect pointless monuments to our elder generation than ensure their care in a humane and respectful manner.
If ever there was proof needed that Walsall Council is systematically incapable of fulfilling it’s obligations, then this is it. We already know that they are unable to look after finances, cost civil engineering projects or successfully manage a small market. Now we know that they are incapable of looking after us, too.
I will return to this issue. The citizens of Walsall deserve to know that, should they or their relatives need care in their darkest of hours, then they will receive it. That this reasonable expectation seems to have fallen so badly short is a cause not only for concern, but anger, too… and I’m bloody furious.