At Tuesday’s special meeting of the council’s Adult Social Care & Public Health Sub-Committee, Labour brought forward plans to ensure councillors could exercise more oversight and scrutiny over care plans.
Labour’s intervention came after the debacle over a supported housing contract concerning Le Carbone in Portslade falling through.
There was public outcry at the hasty decision to place 60 people with complex needs at the unsuitable Old Brewery site in Portslade (Le Carbone) and the entire plan went awry.
Labour’s joint leader of the opposition Cllr Carmen Appich wrote to the council’s chief executive Geoff Raw calling for an investigation, in order to find out “why this was allowed to go so terribly wrong”.
Cllr Appich said: “Councillors were kept in the dark. Consultation with local communities is key to the integration of services. We don’t want the same problems to afflict plans to award up to seven supported living contracts for adults with learning disabilities.”
Labour’s adult social care spokesperson, Cllr Alan Robins, said that councillors needed greater oversight and the opportunity to scrutinise future contracts to ensure the council doesn’t “go down the same route as last time”.
Whilst the Green administration claimed additional oversight would lead to delays, Cllr Robins asked: “How much delay has there been by getting it so wrong in Portslade in the first place that the whole thing fell through and broke down?”
Labour’s plans won committee approval, meaning councillors will have sign off on the proposed supported living contracts, and previous council mistakes can hopefully be avoided in future.
For more information, find Sarah Booker-Lewis’ piece in Brighton & Hove News here.