In January of 2018 we sent an email to Richard Medwyn Hughes –
My wife and I came across a copy of the report you authored in your capacity as Chair of the Audit and Governance committee dated 28 Sept, 2017. We also discovered that you are Vice-Chair of the Care Scrutiny Committee for Gwynedd Council.
I believe it is my families case that is mentioned in the report as being referred to the Ombudsman, the reason for this being the Council’s refusal to escalate our complaint to Stage 2 of the complaints procedure.
We raised other issues related to but different from our earlier complaint and the Ombudsman advised us to raise this as a separate complaint with the Children and Family Department.
Due to the difficult history of the families case we raised an immediate stage 2 complaint with Customer Care, that was in May of last year, which has still not been concluded.
We believe the Council has behaved in an obstructive and delaying manner. There has been no proper communication or information forthcoming from the Council during the process and a staggering lack of transparency.
For your information we include a copy below of an email sent today to our MP, Liz Saville Roberts.
We note there is a Care Scrutiny Committee meeting later this month and ask if this meeting is open to the general public ?
Also, we would be happy to share and discuss our experiences with anyone from either the Audit and Governance Committee or the Care Scrutiny Committee to provide clarity on the situation regarding the Customer Care department and how the Complaints procedure has been implemented in our case.
For your information a stage 2 complaint was raised regarding the ongoing issues in this case in 2010 and all points of complaint upheld but recommendations never acted upon.
The Head of Children and Families has stated this report to be irrelevant to the current situation – we do not agree. Yet another example of the attitude that we have encountered for so many years.
The Department have repeatedly cited their disability criteria along with the Equality Act and even the Social Services Care Act 2014 as a means to refuse services rather than provide much needed support. This needs to change.
His response on the 10th of January 2018 was to CC the Democratic Services Manager, Corporate Support Department, Vera Jones into the email.
I acknowledge receipt of your email dated 06/01/18.
I have asked the officers concerned about your issues.
The Audit and Governance committee of which I am Chair tend not to look at individual cases but at trends and practices involving circumstances like this.
The Care Scrutiny Committee meetings are streamed live and are open to the public where space is available.
However as you have raised this issue with me I have sent your email on.
No doubt an officer will be in touch as soon as possible.
In the meantime you should also contact your local councillor along with including your postal address to me in a future email.
R Medwyn Hughes