Westminster Council’s warped priorities have been revealed this week with the news that the Council has spent over £100,000 painting double yellow lines in the West End, while at the same time the NHS-run Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS), which collates information from people receiving social care, rates Westminster joint worst in London.
Councillors have been told by Westminster’s Director of Transport that “the total estimated cost of laying all of the double yellow lines ‘At Any Time’ waiting restrictions was £101,950.”
The costs comprise;
* The estimated cost of putting down the yellow lines in the West End (Zones E and G and Sub-Zones F3 and F6) was approximately £23,600
* WestOne was paid approximately £31,550 to draft the delegated authority reports to initiate the public consultation, consider the responses received and make the traffic regulation order;
* WestOne was paid approximately £31,100 to undertake site visits, prepare and modify plans illustrating the proposals and setting out the limits of the double yellow lines on site, ready for the lining gangs to lay the double yellow lines.
* The City Council incurred other costs such as staff time and paying for postage and advertising that totalled approximately £15,700.
Adult social care in Westminster has been ranked the worst in the country by the ACSC, which says the Council’s “failure to identify bad carer practice” is due to its assessments which “cannot be regarded as fair”. In a report to the Council’s Audit and Performance Policy and Scrutiny Committee [pdf], Councillors have been told:
“The 2010/11 Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) benchmarking report shows Westminster’s score (of 17.4) amongst the lowest in London. Results from the survey are aggregated together for each council and a composite score calculated. The questions covered the individual’s perceptions of their quality of life, independence, cleanliness and comfort, contact with others and extent to which the way services are delivered makes them feel positive about themselves. Data from the Research and Consultation Team suggests that opinion of the council’s services in this area have been affected by the changes in eligibility criteria which resulted in some service users receiving a smaller care package or had some elements of care withdrawn.”
Church Street resident Ash Naghouni, 42, who has been in a wheelchair for almost 20 years, says he has noticed a decline in his social care and told the local press: “The attitude before last year was how the council could help you to become more independent and contribute to society. Since last year it’s been as if I’m not important any more. All they are talking about is ways to cut down my care package to see how much money they can save.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said; “Westminster Council’s priorities are back to front, with painting double yellow lines in the West End seemingly having more importance than the welfare of Westminster’s most vulnerable residents. With a new Leader due to be elected this week it is high time that the Council concentrated on serving residents better than its current hard-hearted approach to those most in need.”Other news from Westminster Labour