Adult social care changes in Warrington move step closer

Warrington Guardian: Clr Pat Wright Clr Pat Wright

MOVES to transfer adult social care services run by the council into a separate body have taken a step closer.

A business case to create a social enterprise for adult social care was put before councillors at an executive board meeting on Monday.

Clr Pat Wright, executive board member for health and wellbeing and adult services, told the board: “These services have been through significant review and redesign and have already made savings of more than £2 million.

“The council is dealing with a further saving of £650,000 for this department.

“Rather than see potential savings cause impact on services users we are proposing to establish a social enterprise that will offer the potential for growth.”

The service currently employs 331 people and offers support to more than 2,000 people through things like day centres, residential care and respite services.

Social enterprises are a separate organisation from the council and money made from the service can be ploughed back in to its work.

The business case was put together after consultation with staff and trade unions - who had said it would prefer a trading company to be set up.

Some staff also voiced concern about moving out of council control and the impact of users.

Clr Hitesh Patel (LAB - Great Sankey South) said: “When we were going through the process of transferring LiveWire people were saying it wouldn’t work but customers who use it tell me it’s a great service. Staff say it is a great place to work. Service users and staff are happy.

“We have been doing a lot of talking about this idea for a long time. We have consulted with staff and there is still more to be done.

“If we did nothing we couldn’t afford the current quality of services and jobs would be at risk.”

The business plan faces more consultation before the executive board vote on a final hearing to bring in the new structure.

If approved it will be brought in on June 1 2014.


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