Care home row councillor survives resignation vote

A council convener has survived a vote calling for her resignation in the wake of damning reports on a children’s home.

Opposition Labour councillors at Renfrewshire Council called for LibDem Community and Family Care convener Eileen McCartin to stand down.

It follows a scathing report on Chapel House children’s home in Paisley by the Care Commission, as revealed in last night’s Evening Times. The report ranked the facility as the worst care home in Scotland earlier this year.

Social work chiefs said they had acted on the report findings and the issues raised were either resolved or are in the process of being resolved.

But Labour councillors claimed elected members should have been made aware of the findings before they came to light through newspaper reports.

The opposition amendment, lodged by Labour’s Anne Hall, said: “This council calls for the immediate resignation of the convener of the community and family care policy board in light of the recent exposure in the press of failings within Chapel House Children’s Residential Unit.

“In her role as convener she has a duty to scrutinise departmental services and report to members of the board any failings within those services.

“She should have placed this matter on her board agenda so that elected members were fully informed and enabled to carry out their duty of corporate parenting.

“The information in the care commission Reports was not provided to members of the Community and Family Care Policy Board and typically flies in the face of the promise of open and transparent government by the administration of this council.”

In response, the SNP’s Tracie McGee, who is depute convener of Councillor McCartin’s committee, told Labour councillors: “You are using young people for your own gain. This is political football. I’m appalled.”

And council leader Derek Mackay said the crucial point was that problems at the home had been dealt with by the council’s social work department, adding: “I’m shocked and appalled by the behaviour of the Labour group.

“What’s really important is that problems were identified, problems were addressed, issues resolved.”

But Labour’s Mark Macmillan said: “It’s the flow of information that’s at the heart of councillor Hall’s amendment.

“I’m told the convener of social work knew about this on September 22 and the convener of education knew on September 29.

“Why was there no scrutiny of these reports within Renfrewshire Council? What I want to know is what was the convener of social work doing when these reports were being reported?”

Councillors voted against the amendment calling for Councillor McCartin’s resignation by 20 votes to 17.