Posts Tagged ‘Labour Councillors on SGP’

Council failings may lead to disabled subsidy cut

Posted on Monday 16th January 2012 at 3:36 pm by SH (Editor)

The Labour Party

A local government spending watchdog has warned South Gloucestershire Council that failures in the way it managed grant applications from disabled people could mean central government will cut its funding.

The Audit Commission has published a critical account of the way in which Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council managed its process for awarding Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs). Councils are obliged by law to fund DFGs and they are awarded to residents on low incomes to help with the installation of aids such as walk-in-showers, stair-lifts and widening of doorways.

In its report, the Commission criticises the Council’s Community Care & Housing department for failing to ensure enough estimates of the cost of works were obtained prior to awarding grants. The Council is required by central government to see at least two estimates before a grant can be awarded. However, according to managers, it “became the norm” for only one estimate to be sought from applicants. The Council’s total spend on DFGs for 2010/11 was £2million of which £600,000 was paid to one company alone.

Cllr Pat Apps (Labour, Kings Chase) who chairs the Council committee which scrutinises the Community Care & Housing Department said she was shocked to hear about the Audit Commission’s findings. She said:

“At a time when council finances are being stretched due to government cuts, and we are being told that every penny has to count, I am shocked to hear that the Conservative administration has been awarding grants based on just one estimate.”

More: Government may refuse to pay full amount to Council »

Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council

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Council to debate Frenchay “part-privatisation”

Posted on Thursday 13th October 2011 at 11:26 am by SH (Editor)

The Labour Party

Labour’s leader in South Gloucestershire will challenge the other political parties to join him in asking the local NHS to overturn a decision to hand nursing care at the new Frenchay community hospital over to the private sector. Bosses from the North Bristol NHS Trust told councillors last month that they do not see themselves as running the new community hospital when it opens in 2014, and that the running of the new hospital and the nursing staff would instead be provided by an external company.

Now Labour’s leader, Councillor Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock), has tabled a motion for debate when South Gloucestershire Council meets on Wednesday 19th October. The motion will call on the Council to lobby the Trust to rethink and overturn this decision. It also asks the district’s three MPs to add their pressure to retain an all-NHS facility at Frenchay.

Commenting on the move, Cllr Perkins said:

“Most local patients will be shocked to learn that the Frenchay community hospital will not be an all-NHS facility when it opens in 2014. This part-privatisation was never part of the original plans for redeveloping Frenchay. It is a worrying and unwelcome development which I fear is a sign of what the Tory-led government plans to do with our public services. Political dogma and the Tories’ love of the market must not be put before patient care and staff conditions.”

Emersons Green ISTC a different matter, says councillor »

Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council

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Challenge over “half empty” Kingswood council building

Posted on Friday 16th September 2011 at 10:10 am by SH (Editor)

A South Gloucestershire council building which has recently received a multi-million pound makeover could lie half-empty when it re-opens, and senior Labour councillor Terry Walker is challenging the ruling Tories over the reduced number of staff now scheduled to work at Kingswood Civic Centre.

The council has embarked on a major accommodation strategy with a view to consolidating its headquarters in three main building and vacating expensive leased office space.  As part of the strategy, staff moved out of Kingswood Civic Centre in the Spring of 2010 to enable the multi-million pound upgrade.  This upgrade will provide a smarter One Stop Shop, which also houses a local police presence, a new council chamber and committee rooms, and modern office accommodation for the returning staff.  However, a reduction in staff numbers since the project was planned, combined with recent decisions to divert a large number of staff the council had planned to house there to other offices, means that the new building could be half empty.

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Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council

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New Frenchay Hospital to be “part-privatised”

Posted on Thursday 15th September 2011 at 5:01 pm by SH (Editor)

Nursing staff at the new community hospital planned for Frenchay will not work for the NHS it has emerged, prompting claims from Labour councillors that Frenchay is being “part-privatised”.

At a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, bosses from North Bristol Trust (NBT) who currently run Frenchay said that they do not see themselves as running the new community hospital when it opens in 2014. Instead they intend to put the running of the hospital out to tender and confirmed that the successful bidder would also be expected to provide the nurses to look after the 68 patients undergoing rehabilitation that the new hospital will cater for.

Speaking after the meeting, Labour’s spokesperson on Health, Cllr Ian Scott (Labour, Filton), said;

“This revelation came completely out of the blue. I don’t think anyone ever expected that the new community hospital at Frenchay would not stay entirely within the NHS. It goes to show that the NHS is clearly not safe in the hands of a Tory government.”

(more…)

Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council

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