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Bonkers Blog April 2013

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15 April - Your life in their hands

How did I miss the councillors discussing their take over of health responsibilities? I have been checking my notes to see where things went wrong. I didn’t have to go back very far.

The subject was on the Agenda of the General Purposes Committee for 20th March 2013. It is 113 A4 pages divided into eight sections. The whole meeting lasted just over half an hour and ‘The Transfer of Public Health to London Borough of Bexley’ was Agenda item seven. My notes reveal that no one asked any questions. This was the meeting which approved pay rises for three Deputy Directors and confirmed that Bexley council pays its care agencies less than any other nearby borough.

My recollection is that Deputy Director David Bryce-Smith briefly explained what was to happen which is that staff will be transferred from the Care Trust and fill up to 20 posts at Bexley council. The precise number seems to vary according to where you look but as you might expect, most will be part of Director Peter Ellershaw’s Wellbeing empire reporting to his deputy Bryce-Smith. A couple will be under Director Mark Charters and his Deputy Director of Policy, Maureen Holkham. Thank goodness it is only the two given Charters’ OFSTED achievements and Maureen Holkham’s record of never being able to answer questions at council meetings. If Charters has any sense he will be working out his excuses right now.

The details are probably not very interesting to the average reader, even the councillors were so bored they nodded it through without a word. To be fair that is all they were asked to do.

Those interested in exactly what the council is taking over should click here. The list starts with all the Nanny State stuff…

Smoking, drinking, eating too much and taking exercise. In its own words, ‘lifestyle interventions’.

Note: With thanks to one of the usual suspects for prompting some belated research.


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