There seems to be a pattern emerging. Yet again at the last sitting of Tynwald before summer recess we discover that amidst cuts and service reductions the Department of Social Care has once more been spending money on staff without the knowledge of the public. Libraries, pre-school, nurture groups have all been the subject of proposed cuts. Yet the secret database was introduced against the will of the people and the over-referrals the system appears to have generated have not only been accounted for but it would appear that the requisite staff to accommodate the unnecessary and excessive referrals have also been put into place.
So while Martyn Quayle’s request for half a million pounds for ‘new working practices’ at the final sitting in 2011 may have raised some eyebrows at that time, Chris Robertshaw’s department has well exceeded this. Over two million pounds spent on 51 staff instead of the 10 new social workers previously mentioned? Why would we need so many children’s social workers? Because we have a huge amount of over-referrals perhaps? (Over-referrals resulting in no further action being taken). However, Mr Robertshaw apparently has no qualms about this seeming harassment of parents.
Glancing through the question papers of late I have been surprised by the lack of questions! Yet come the final sitting we have numerous questions tabled and it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see that they couldn’t possibly be answered orally in one sitting. Result? They will be responded to in writing. How much easier to deal with the contentious issues in the later questions when there are no supplementary questions to contend with!
Cynics might suggest that the questions were saved for the final sitting. Surely not?