EXCLUSIVE: It’s no secret that South Tyneside council would like nothing better than to close the John Wright Centre and transfer some it’s services to existing facilities within the borough, whilst at the same time cancelling others.
Mr Monkey reckons the council will use the poor state of the building and the fact that vast sums of money are needed to bring the building up to scratch as justification to close the centre. What they won’t tell the public is that have deliberately allowed the building to deteriorate to justify it’s closure. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the centre currently occupies a valuable site that could be used to generate income for the council if it was sold. This assumes the council can’t find something else to warrant it’s closure.
It’s hardly surprising then that when services are suddenly withdrawn without any notice and staff disappear that people begin to question whether it’s the beginning of the end for the centre. But Mr Monkey can now reveal what’s really going on.
Following the publication of an Ombudsman’s report which found the council guilty of ‘maladministartion’ over the way it handled the complaints of 2 vulnerable residents at Curran House Mews, Jarrow – dubbed Colditz – it seems the council may have once again failed to protect vulnerable adults in it’s care – this time at the John Wright Centre.
All staff who have direct contact with vulnerable adults are subject to the Protection of Vulnerable Adult (POVA) regulations and should have had their details checked against the POVA database and been criminal record checked. It now seems that this may not have happened at the John Wright Centre and that some member’s of staff may have slipped under the net and were working with the centre’s vulnerable adults.
Mr Monkey has learned that at least one member of staff has been suspended and as a result the council immediately suspended the majority of the centre’s evening activities. The council has also launched an investigation into how vulnerable adults in it’s care were placed at risk but as normal the leader of the council and the chief executive are determined to keep things hidden from the public and are doing everything they can to find a way out of the shit they are in (the buck stops with them) without getting covered in it.
It seems that once again the council’s record at protecting vulnerable adults must be questioned as should the lax attitude of those charged with implementing the rules designed to protect vulnerablepeople in it’s care but whether it does or not depends on council’s ability to cover things up.
Sorry councillor Malcolm it’s no good demanding weekly briefings and burying your head up someones arse in the sand, you need to solve the problem and tell the public what’s really going on – fuck the bullshit and spin, tell them the truth.
Meanwhile the speculation continues and Mr Monkey can’t help wondering whether the council has a hidden agenda and will ultimately use this an excuse to shut the centre.
But be warned Iain, Mr Monkey intends getting to the bottom of this and will keep the public informed.