Another meeting of the full Cumbria County Council this morning. The Children’s Social Care team presented a new corporate video highlighting Cumbria’s Promise to the young people in its care – there was also a press release about this today. The video was well received by councillors, who with one exception managed to give it a warm welcome without trying to score cheap party political points. My experience so far of those councillors who do get involved in this area is that they take their role as “corporate parents” very seriously, and commit a lot of time, energy, and care to it.
However, glossy videos alone do not make for a good care system. It’s now nearly six months since Ofsted’s critical report into Cumbria’s care system. They had highlighted 29 areas which needed addressing with varying degrees of urgency, but all within six months. I was keen to discover whether all the actions had been closed down, so I asked the question of the appropriate Cabinet Member.
To my surprise, she clearly didn’t know, but in the course of a rambling answer I think I detected a commitment to reporting back to the next Council (in January). When the minutes come out we will see – the commitment might even have amounted to a promise, because as the video told us repeatedly, if someone breaks a promise, then you don’t trust them any more.