As previously reported in Derby News, the Council’s Pledges are starting to creak, and a number have already failed against their commitment. Finally, the Council is admitting this in their Cabinet report to be discussed on 6th September 2017.
The Derby News article “Banwait fails more of the ’50 pledges’…and slips one by 7 months!” highlighted a number of issues which Cllr Banwait branded as “fake”…..time is proving him wrong!
A number of Pledges, that were essentially complete when the report was issued on 21st June, have been confirmed as achieved.
- Re-award of Derby’s Purple Flag status showing Derby is a safe city at nighttime. ( achieved June 30th)
- The launch of a new Crowdfunding platform to generate new funding for local community groups. (launched July 3rd)
- Introduction of a new incentive scheme for Derby Homes’ tenants. (launched in April 2017)
- Taxi-licensing penalty points (launched July 1st)
The more difficult ones that are not on plan, or have a questionable status, are:
- Commitment to increase the number of children using the Breakfast Club by July 2017 to 400 per day – not achieved ( see below)
- All Children’s Homes to be rated GOOD by OFSTED by April 2017 (see below). Cllr Bolton refuses to accept that this Pledge has failed – despite the evidence.
- Early Intervention Support for 400 families, positive status despite no evidence (see below)
- The Library proposal has slipped by 5 weeks – Council accept that the savings will not be achieved as planned
- Regeneration of the area of the old RR factory on Nightingale Rd – “behind schedule”
- The new “Ram Energy” tarriff was due to be launched by Summer 2017 – now planned for October 2017
- Commit £250k to deliver, and publish, a programme of affordable events, and Cultural Charter by Summer 2017 – no evidence provided of this happening. Report only highlights Darley Park, St George’s Day parade, and £2k to the Caribbean Carnival and £2.7k for Pride 2017. Not £250k!
It is entirely right that the Council issued these Pledges as a way of holding itself to account to the public.
However gaining false positive publicity for successes which had essentially been achieved when the report was issued is disingenuous. Clearly Cllr Bolton thought that she had the Children’s Homes pledge “in the bag” given that the inspection was done before the Pledges were confirmed. Continuing to cover-up this failed position does a disservice to this process.
It is notable that there was no pledges relating to:
- Special Educational Needs children and the successful delivery of the SEN statement to EHCP programme by 31 March 2018
- Closure of agreement with Derby School Support Staff to formally close the dispute by 1st September 2017.
As time marches on, more of the challenging Pledges are beginning to unravel. Whilst other parts of the media may be focussing elsewhere, Derby News will continue to watch these very closely in the coming months.
Detail of key Pledges that have slipped
Breakfast Club (Cllr Russell)
The pledge was for 400 children being served, each day, by July 2017:
Despite the pledge having failed, it was reconfirmed in the June Cabinet meeting, I reported:
“The Breakfast Club pledge continues to be made, despite it having failed by over 50%.
In April 2017, the Club was operating in 4 named schools, with a total of 155 being registered in the scheme”
and now, in early September, Cllr Russell is now admitting reality:
“Uptake of the pilot scheme remains somewhat below the levels anticipated”
The Cabinet papers record a number of 119 – missed by over 50%! The AMBER rating is generous, by the Council’s rules it should be RED
Children’s Homes (Cllr Bolton)
Cllr Bolton committed that all Derby City Council Children’s Homes would be OFSTED rated as GOOD by April 2017. In my article “Cllr Bolton “economical with truth” over failed Pledge on Children’s Homes” on August 4th, I highlighted that she was still ignoring the fact that 1 of the homes had been declared as “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”. In this latest report, she continues to ignore the facts, by suggesting that they are still “awaiting publication”
The latest status also states that “judgements are not official until published on OFSTED’s website”.
This is the extract from OFSTED’s website, published back in July 2017 for the one “awaiting publication”.
Early Intervention Support (Cllr Bolton)
Cllr Bolton has confirmed that she has already achieved Early intervention support for 400 families:
However, in an earlier FOI, the Council confirms, that such information is not actually collated.
Cllr Bolton seems to be guessing that she has achieved the Pledge?