LETTER: Wakefield Council staff are not liars

In the April 24 issue of the Hemsworth Express you included an article on the Wakefield Council Standards Committee report into the conduct of Coun Steve Tulley, which was considered at the meeting of full council on April 16.

Part of your article included a claim made by Coun Tulley that social workers had told lies, and that this claim had been substantiated at a later date. I would like to state that neither of these statements are accurate.

The relationship between elected members and officers in Wakefield is usually an excellent one, and it is rare for this relationship to break down.

Both members and officers have difficult roles, but in the overwhelming majority of cases mutual respect is shown. As your readers will have noted, Coun Tulley was censured by councillors for his behaviour during a meeting last year, but the comments he made during the council meeting about the integrity of social workers were not addressed. I would like to put this right.

Children’s social workers have a difficult job, dealing with highly sensitive and sometimes controversial issues that directly affect families.

They work with hundreds of families across the district, providing support in a variety of ways.

I accept that there will be disagreements about some of their decisions, that is perfectly natural, and I also accept that at times passions will run high. Again, this goes with the territory.

And as with any decision made by a council officer, if people are unhappy with decisions made by social workers then there is a process that they can follow to make a complaint.

I do not accept unfounded accusations that the social workers employed by the council are liars, nor can stand by and let such accusations pass without a response. I am proud of the work that social workers carry out on behalf of the children and families of this district, and will stand up for them whenever necessary.

Joanne Roney OBE

Chief Executive

Wakefield Council