£13,000 council party cancelled

A PLANNED party for the council’s social work department, which last year cost £13,000, has been cancelled following outcry from opposition councillors.

Leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Labour Group, Ronnie Nicholson, earlier this week accused council leader Ivor Hyslop of doing nothing to intervene to stop a planned costly ‘Big Thank You’ social work party, but Mr Hyslop says he has in fact stepped in and brought the plans to an end.

Councillor Nicholson said: “This event is badly judged by the council. To fork out thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money for such an event, when at the same time increasing some care charges by 7,000 per cent beggars believe.

“I cannot underestimate the value of the work social services staff do in this area, and they deserve huge praise for it. However, the extortionate cost of ‘The Big Thank You’ party is completely absurd at a time when many elderly and disabled people are having their care charges increased. In fact, staff members I have spoken to about the event are quite embarrassment at the cost of this party.”

Council Leader Ivor Hyslop said: “I asked the Chief Executive on Monday of this week to reconsider the arrangements for the Big Thank You and welcome the decision of the Director of Social Work Services to cancel this event.

“However, I have asked that proposals be brought to a meeting of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, as I do believe that the Council should be recognising the successes of its services and employees. This approach will ensure that Members can consider how this can best be taken forward in a proportionate, internal and cost-effective way.

These proposals could also complement our participation in CoSLA’s Excellence Awards.

“I made sure I was aware of the views of the vast majority of Members of the Council before acting in this matter, bearing in mind that, on a previous occasion, a number of Members appeared to support the event.”