Reporting Back – Full Council, Answers to Questions

Earlier in the month was the regular meeting of Bury’s ‘Full Council’. The Lib Dem Group asked our full allocation of four questions: (summaries below – full answers here)

– Children in Residential Care
Mary D’ALbert asked about the recent report that “Thousands of police visits ‘criminalise’ children in care homes”, and could we be assured that children from Bury that are placed in residential care homes outside of the Borough are monitored, and are not the subject of such action.
Answer: We currently have 23 young people in residential care out of approximately 300 children and young people in our care, so they are a very small, but important, part of our group of young people in care. The children are closely monitored through placement’ visits and social workers consultations with other professionals. The children have all been informed regarding Bury’s advocacy service and majority are accessing this service.

– Staff Bullying
Tim Pickstone asked about the recent report that 10% of Council staff reported bullying in the last year:
Answer: The Council takes any allegation of bullying and harassment very seriously and we place the utmost importance on dignity and respect for all our employees which is why we already have a number of key policies and practices in place to prevent and deal with incidences.
In response to this question26 Dignity at Work complaints have been investigated in the past three years (6 since April 2015) and there have been 18 cases which have been handled via the mediation route (4 since April 2015).
There have been 7 whistleblowing cases in this timescale.

– Review of Bus Lanes
Tim asked when the promised review of Bus Lanes would happen in the south of Bury (Unsworth/Whitefield, Radcliffe and Prestwich)
Answer: We have been unable to commence work on a wider review due to pressure of work and significantly reduced resources. However it is our intention to commence a wider review later this year and we will be happy to provide Councillor Pickstone with a more detailed time table once it is available.

Missing School Crossing Patrols
– Mary asked about the number of school crossing patrols that are currently without ‘lollypop men or women’:
Answer:There are currently 18 vacant school crossing patrol sites that do not have a permanent member of staff allocated to them. The number of sites that are not operational can change on a daily basis as priority is given to allocating relief/supply staff to cover unassisted crossings.
For the past few weeks there have been 9 crossings left without cover, these have all been assisted crossings (pelican or puffin), all unassisted crossings have been covered using relief staff. The school crossing patrol coordinator assesses the risk when making the decision about which crossings will be left empty and which will be covered with supply staff taking into account road speed and the road layout near/around the school.

Let us know if you have any queries or thoughts on these, or ideas for questions at future meetings.