New chief for Swansea Council children’s service

The new councillor in charge of social services in Swansea says his priority will be to lead the department out of special measures as soon as possible.

Nick Tregoning will replace Wendy Fitzgerald who has resigned.

This week the Welsh Assembly Government is expected to intervene in the running of the council’s children’s services department.

It follows two critical reports into its child protection procedures and concerns improvements have been slow.

Liberal democrat councillor Mr Tregoning said: “We are, for the moment, the only social services department in Wales to be placed in special measures in regard to childrens’ services, despite the clear improvement shown over the last 18 months.

“It will be my premier objective to see that we spend the minimum amount of time in that situation because I am concerned to see that we provide the best possible care to Swansea’s vulnerable children.”

‘Accelerate improvement’

He said councillors from all parties must work together and said media coverage, including that by BBC Wales, was “not helpful.”

“All political parties on Swansea council have been criticised, and all will have to work together for the sake of our children,” he added.

“This is a time to be serious and purposeful so as to continue and accelerate the improvement process that was started by my predecessor.”

This week deputy social services minister Gwenda Thomas is expected to appoint an intervention board to oversee the service – the first such order made against a council in Wales.

She has told AMs she was not prepared for social services for children, to fall and remain below acceptable standards.