Local councillor carpeted after slamming own social work department over disabled son’s care

THOMAS COCHRANE, who is SNP councillor for Shotts, took to Facebook to vent his fury over home care services provided for his son Dean, who suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

A COUNCILLOR has been carpeted for branding his own social work department a joke on Facebook.

Thomas Cochrane went on the social networking site to vent his fury over home care services provided for his severely disabled son Dean.

The widower complained that North Lanarkshire social work officials failed to inform him that they had either cancelled or changed the times of home visits for 11-year-old Dean.

Thomas posted on Facebook: “Social work home care is an absolute joke.

“Thursday and Friday mornings – no home care for Dean. Saturday and Sunday, we got service. This morning – nothing.

“No letter to tell me it was cancelled, no phone call. Management don’t know how to manage.

“If that is how a councillor is treated, how do they treat the OAPs and the disabled? NLC social work home care is not fit for purpose.”

After his comments, Thomas received a letter from the council, warning him that he could be in breach of the code of conduct for elected councillors.

Thomas, who is SNP councillor for Shotts, has now cancelled the home care service for Dean, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The dad has, instead, applied for a grant to help pay for a private carer.

Thomas, whose wife Maureen died suddenly last June at the age of 45, said of the home care service: “They would turn up late or not at all. No one would phone to say it had been cancelled or delayed. It was a shambles.”

A council spokesman said: “We do not recognise Councillor Cochrane’s interpretation of events. All home support needs are assessed on an individual basis and care put in place appropriate to those individual needs.

“Situations will sometimes arise where a councillor could potentially be in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct. Council officers may approach a member to advise that care ought to be taken so that a breach does not occur. That advice is clearly what was provided in this case.”