Powys and Ceredigion examine social care collaboration

Social care in Powys and Ceredigion could be headed by one person in future. Ceredigion Council has backed a proposal to conduct a feasibility study to develop a collaboration between the social services departments of both.

It could mean the director of Ceredigion’s social services could be responsible for social care in Powys.

Powys councillors have supported the move, but a union has accused the council of a lack of consultation.

Ceredigion councillors have approved the plan, and its leader, Keith Evans, said the idea had come as a result of the failure of a plan to appoint a joint chief executive of Powys council and Powys Local Health Board.

He added: “The Welsh Assembly Government want to see collaboration where it improves the delivery of services.

“We want to explore ways of collaborating with Powys Council to strengthen the management and delivery of these local services.

“This could result in our director of social services heading the project if it is found to be feasible.”

Scale and scope

A report by Ceredigion’s director of social services, Parry Davies, said that the potential for achieveing economies of scale and scope and exploiting complementary capabilities had been recognised.

It added that detailed work would need to be done to decide if these advantages could be realised.

Cathy Craham, of Unison in Ceredigion, said: “I am disappointed that the social services department has not consulted with us about this idea.

“Powys and Ceredigion councils’ highways departments already work closely together and when that plan was undertaken we were pleased at the level of consultation which protected jobs.

“But it seems to be a closed door as far as the social services department is concerned.”

The findings of the feasibility study are expected to be reported to both local authorities for a decision on the future of social care in the two counties by October.