Anger at care plan rebuff

Coun Bob Brierley
Coun Bob Brierley

Opposition councillors have questioned why a motion about the borough’s social care system could not be heard in the chamber

Hindley Green independent representative Coun Bob Brierley suggested Wiganers receiving out-of-work benefits could carry out tasks including providing companionship and making food and hot drinks. Coun Brierley, who was seconded by Bryn independent Coun Steve Jones, said this would help stretch council budgets further while protecting frontline services.

But the motion for discussion at last night’s full council meeting was rebuffed, bosses saying it had not fulfilled all the necessary requirements. Yet the town hall has passed the proposal on for the adult social care department to consider, leaving Couns Brierley and Jones puzzled.

Coun Brierley said: “It doesn’t make sense. One minute they’re knocking it back and then suddenly they’ve deciphered it and are sending it to adult care.

“I feel a bit insulted by this. It’s a way of saving the council money while not cutting other services and it’s a simple solution. We’re all trying our best here. I think they just don’t like any suggestions the opposition makes.”

Coun Jones added: “If a motion is good enough for social care to have a look at and consider adopting then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be debated by full council.”

Coun Brierley also proposed putting the work onto a CV which would prove to employers they have been active in the community and providing social care.

Brendan Whitworth, council assistant director for legal, said: “Coun Brierley’s motion was not permitted as it did not meet the requirements of the constitution to make it a competent motion. However the decision was taken to pass on the suggestion to the adult social care department for them to consider whether they would want to examine further the proposal underlying the proposed motion.”