Councillor Helen McLuckie defiant in care row

AN EMPHATIC message that she would not resign her Cabinet post in Redcar and Cleveland Council has been delivered by Councillor Helen McLuckie.

She is the Cabinet member for health and social wellbeing with responsibility for social care whose services to protect vulnerable adults have come in for severe criticism.

The Care Quality Commission gave the services its lowest rating and said that some vulnerable adults had been left at risk in the borough.

Cllr McLuckie was questioned at a meeting of Redcar and Cleveland Council by Liberal Democrat councillors Mary Ovens and Glyn Nightingale.

Cllr Ovens asked how the serious inadequacies surrounding safeguarding adults had gone undetected until the commission’s inspection.

“The crux of the matter is performance management, systems, training and, key to any improvement leadership.

“Given that at least one officer recently resigned did the Cabinet member for health and social wellbeing likewise consider her role, responsibility and response to the inspection?” said Cllr Ovens.

Cllr Nightingale pointed to the high ranking of social services in the borough when the council had a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition administration.

Cllr McLuckie said: “I will not resign.

“The improvement plan we have in place is a robust plan. It will cover all the challenges we face over the next few months,” she said.

Cllr McLuckie said there was no single reason the problems went undetected. A number of things had happened over a period of years.

She said the staff had been involved in a National Trailblazer pilot project for the “Right to Control” and it was possible the energy and work devoted to that was to the detriment of other work.