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KEY APPOINTMENTS TO ACCELERATE SOCIAL SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACROSS WELSH COUNCILS

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A business manager and three regional improvement co-ordinators have been appointed by the Welsh Local Government A...
A business manager and three regional improvement co-ordinators have been appointed by the Welsh Local Government Association to support the Social Services Improvement Agency work with councils to accelerate social services improvement across Welsh councils.

WLGA social services spokeswoman Meryl Gravell said:

'Finally we have all the pieces in place for the SSIA to help drive forward social services improvement. I am delighted by the high calibre of candidates that the SSIA has attracted. These key posts will be vital to us rising to the challenges expected of us. I would also like to thank all our partners for supporting us to reach this point in time.'

Martyn Palfreman as the new business manager will hold a vital role in co-ordinating the delivery of the agency's work programme. He will also ensure that the WLGA team of improvement co-ordinators and the knowledge manager have close links with all the stakeholders within the local government family and external partners. He will bring to the new role a wealth of corporate planning and business development experience from his current position as improvement advisor within the WLGA improvement team and former strategic lead for best value at Lambeth LBC. Mr Palfreman will take a lead on the member development programme for the SSIA.

The social services improvement co-ordinators will be responsible for working closely with the Corporate leads for social services to deliver a range of joint projects and enhancing collaborative working.

The three new regional improvement co-ordinators for social services are:

--Joanne Betteridge, from Monmouthshire CC who will be the co-ordinator for South Wales

--Vicky McCourt, from Flintshire Council who will be the co-ordinator for North Wales

--Mike Thomas, specialist projects officer for SSIA at the WLGA will take up an acting position for Mid and West Wales

Notes

1.In December 2005, the WLGA business case for a dedicated improvement support for local government was endorsed. Discussions have been held with the Association of Directors for Social Services in Wales (ADSS Cymru), Society of Local Government Chief Executives (SOLACE), the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Health (NLIAH), the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, Care Standard Inspectorate for Wales, the Care Council for Wales plus a wide range of colleagues in the Welsh Assembly Government.

2.The agency will work on behalf of local authorities to increase the pace of improvement and excellence within social services.

3.A management board is in place to oversee the strategic direction and governance of the agency.

4.The core grant available to the SSIA from the Welsh Assembly Government is£1.1m per year.

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