The title of this council committee is not very glamorous but its work is important. I am one of five Conservative members. There are four Labour members.
Last night we had a full agenda covering:
- the problems at the Nuffield Speech and Language Unit
- the closure of Ravenscourt Park Hospital
- previous work on diabetes (a major killer in Ealing especially amongst the Asian communities)
- involving older people in decisions and the development of services
- the broader subject of the public’s involvement in health and social care services.
In attendance last night we had the chief executive of Ealing Hospital, the chairman of the PCT, a director of the WLMHT, the cabinet members for Children’s Services and Adult Services & Housing and the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The work of this committee is pretty demanding as the issues are complex and highly political and the papers are very hard work. The Better Government for Older People paper last night was particularly jargon ridden and hard to digest.
The Tory chairman of this panel, Clifford Pile, is very capable and his Labour deputy, Jasbir Anand, made frequent and impressive contributions in the first two meetings. The Labour group really let themselves down last night though. All four members failed to turn up. Councillor Anand did manage to get Councillor Dhami to stand in for her but he felt unable to make any contribtuiton whatsoever to the main meeting. Two of the Labour members have failed to turn up for ANY of the first three meetings of the panel. The people of Ealing, and in particular the people of the Southall wards, who suffer the greatest health inequalities, are being badly let down by these councillors.
Scrutiny allows opposition councillors to make a real impact. It seems a shame that the Labour group can’t come up with four councillors who can make a contribution.