Eyes On #Gwynedd – Shout Out.

The stage 2 complaint first raised against Cyngor Gwynedd Council, in May, is nearly complete and to be published by October, 2017.

The Ombudsman for Wales has also started their separate investigation into Gwynedd Children and Family Support (!) team for issues arising from 2010.

I have encountered some truly unprofessional and appalling behaviour – from support services through social worker(s) to managers and even a head of department not to mention the misnamed customer care team.

And I wonder…this must have happened to other people in Gwynedd ?

For the next period of time many eyes will be on the Gwynedd Social Services Children and Family Support (!) department but the remit for scrutiny is only for this families case.

So I ask if you feel that you have been let down by Gwynedd council social services in the past, come forward and tell your story now.

To those good service workers in the department and elsewhere in the council – who know of poor management, unprofessional behaviour , bullying, bad practice etc – now is the time to speak out and help change Gwynedd’s failing council.


#Aberdaron #Bala #Clynnog #Criccieth #Dolgellau #Harlech #Llanbedr #Porthmadog #Pwllheli #Tywyn



Smoke And Mirrors At Cyngor Gwynedd Council.

I have just come across this report authored by Marian Parry Hughes and dated the 18th July, 2017.

It is the annual report on the handling of complaints by the Children and Family Support Department of Gwynedd Council for 2016/17.


Unlike the report last year authored by Margaret Kenealy Jones, this report has not been used to revise history nor used as a vehicle to whitewash unprofessional behaviour and systemic failings within the children’s department of Cyngor Gwynedd and this is to be welcomed.

Saying that the report does appear to have some glaring ommissions and anoma-lies –

“Over the years, the Customer Care Officer have successfully managed to establish close working links with the teams, managers and the legal section as a means of discussing and resolving issues. This is reflected in the low number of complaints reaching Stage 2 of the Complaints Procedure.

It is fair to say that there has been a clear trend over the past 3 years, that theChildren and Family Support Department have not had a complaint escalate toStage 2. This is down to the professionalism the Team Managers and SeniorManagers show when dealing with complainants; they understand theimportance of a local resolution and by discussing directly with the complainant they are able to address matters as soon as possible…”


Er…but Mrs Hughes there is a stage 2 complaint ongoing against Children and Family Support Department raised on the 25th May and due for completion any day now. Why has the complaint not been included in your report figures ?
I notice the Adult services acknowledge there is an ongoing stage 2 investigation and though not completed is included in their figures.

Marian Parry Hughes also crows that the department have had no complaint escalate to stage 2 over the past three years.

But that is down to one senior manager, Aled Gibbard, closing a complaint – without informing the complainant and your department refusing to escalate another complaint to the second stage, hence the intervention of the Ombudsman.

And knowing that to then go on and write –

“In comparison with other Local Authorities in North Wales, it is understood that Gwynedd have been successful in managing complaints at Stage 1 whereas other Local Authorities have a higher proportion of complaints progress to Stage 2”.

and diss the conduct of other LA’s in Wales is…distasteful to say the least.

Cyngor Gwynedd Head Responds – Finally.

The Assembly Member for Arfon, Sian Gwenllian, emailed me on the 5th July and sent me a copy of the long overdue response from Marian Parry Hughes, Head of Children and Families at Gwynedd Council.

See my post of the 4th July for more detail –

Mrs Hughes begins by apologising for not responding to the AM and states  –

“It certainly wasn’t deliberate on my part.”

So what was the reason for ignoring the AM for three months then ?

Mrs Hughes goes on to explain that Sharron Carter, Senior Operational Manager, had responded to the solicitor by letter and answered all relevant questions – in March.
The solicitor – after searching their files – state they have not received a letter from Sharron Williams Carter, from the date in question.
And if they had I would not have asked the AM – in April – for help in getting a response now – would I ?
I include a link to my post where Cyngor Gwynedd lost another important letter – one that had been placed in their secure letterbox in the Caernarfon office addressed to Aled Gibbard.
How many letters do Gwynedd Council lose every year ?

Sian, I am very grateful for your help in eliciting a response, finally, from the Department Head.

I am also very concerned that you was ignored by a council employee for three months.


Gwynedd Council Data Protection Fail.

Preparing  paperwork for the meeting with the independent invesigators dealing with my stage 2 complaint against Gwynedd council, I was astonished by the council’s use of a black marker to censor comments made by managers to other agencies involved with the family.
The investigators were more shocked than I and told me there was no need or reason for council staff to censor and it should not have happened.
Then I discovered Gwynedd council had also sent me the personal information of another person.
Oh dear.

Cyngor Gwynedd Council “Deluged With Complaints.”

More than one in four calls to Gwynedd Council are going unanswered because its departments are being deluged with complaints.

Frustrated residents are giving up after failing to get through to officers within a reasonable amount of time, a report has said.

The biggest areas of complaint have been identified as grass cutting , the closure of public toilets and changes in the arrangements for collecting garden waste.

In total 144,862 calls were abandoned out of more than 500,000 made directly to council workers last year. The problem is particularly acute at peak times on Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday afternoons, the Corporate Scrutiny Committee will be told.

The local authority has admitted that the findings are unacceptable and that it planned to draft in new call centre staff to resolve the issue.

Fewer than half of the calls were answered within 15 seconds last year.

A spokesman for the council said it had been inundated with people ringing them to complain.

“We have experienced unprecedented demand over the past few months with the number of calls; and as the report notes, one of the biggest problems facing the service is lack of staff in the call centre, this was something the council hopes to fix by bringing in new employees.”

The spokesperson added: “As is clear from the report, we have identified a number of things that contribute to these problems and have taken steps to address them, working together with the extremely hard working members of staff at the contact centre.

“We are also recruiting more staff to deal with these problems in the short-term because some of those solutions, like the greater emphasis on self-service, could take a little time to bear fruit.

“The Council is not happy with the performance as it is.”

But UKIP’s Assembly Member for North Wales, Michelle Brown AM blasted the council’s record.

She said: “It beggars belief that the council are seeking to blame the public for their poor performance, especially when the calls have been generated by local people unhappy with the council’s poor performance in other areas.

“Only in the world of a dysfunctional local authority does it seem acceptable to say, ‘if people stopped calling to tell us how badly we’re doing, we would be able to answer their calls more quickly.’

“It’s no surprise to me that people are calling to complain when they are paying more in council tax but getting less for it.

“Nowhere in their plans for dealing with the problem do they mention actually addressing the problems the local people are complaining about.

“It seems logical that if the council want fewer people calling to complain, they should improve their performance as a local authority and give people less reason to complain in the first place.

“The council have clearly forgotten that they work for the local residents, not the other way round.”


see also Gwynedd’s Failing Council – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/