Chief Executive Invited To Downing Street Reception

Council Chief Executive, Philip Hygate

The Council’s Chief Executive has been invited to Downing Street for a reception held by the Prime Minister.

Philip Hygate was asked to Number 10 yesterday, along with the most senior staff from local authorities around the country.

The reception was held to recognise the role that Council’s will have in turning around the lives of troubled families in their respective areas.

Every Authority has been given a grant of £20,000 to be spent in this financial year as they formulate a plan on how to deal with the policy locally.

The Government announced that £448m would be spent nationally on tackling the problem.


9 Responses to Chief Executive Invited To Downing Street Reception

  1. Todd Stevens April 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I’ll be amazed if he can find the time- what with all the extra hours he has supposed to have put in and accrued recently in holiday pay!?

  2. Cassandra April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I would have thought that the small population on the islands and, put bluntly, people knowing other people’s business, would in practical terms have more than compensated for people not fitting into mainland criteria for intervention. There was obviously the appalling Menheniott case back in the 1970’s but Social Service provision has totally changed since then when, as I understand it, it was entirely mainland based.

    I got the impression that representatives were being sent from County Councils who would qualify for grant all of which are much bigger than Scilly.
    As regards Hygate’s costs, my figures are estimates but if anything they are probably on the low side.

  3. The Daily Sport April 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Ooh gosh, well that did stir things up. Having worked in social services in London I do feel that I can at least try to tackle your questions. Often, in London or other big cities, ‘problem’ families fit a very obvious criteria – children look neglected, abodes are clearly not kept in a fit condition, and neighbours (who often have less of a social bind) don’t necessarily think as much of flagging issues. Whereas on Scilly, I think that many of the issues dealt with by social services are less likely to be quite so blatant. I do however take your point that these issues don’t necessarily constitute a ‘problem family’ in the normal (mainland?) sense. I don’t think that it would be appropriate to provide evidence on such a sensitive issue if I did have access to it!

    I’d like to know where the funding for the trip is coming from though (because if it’s funded by central government rather than the islands’ budget then it puts a different slant on things) and I’d also like to know whether comparable communities (or as comparable as can be found!) will be sending representatives.

    Cassandra – are you sure on the costings for Hygate to get up to London and back? Again – something that impacts on the way that people will see things. As you say in your post – you think that in principle the visit to Number 10 would be a good thing. Perhaps it could be combined with other business being done in London?

  4. Cassandra April 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Just because something is a ‘good’ thing in principle doesn’t mean it has to be pursued to the nth degree regardless of cost. If you looked at relative costs and benefits is there nothing better in Island Social Services that the money could be spent on other than funding Hygate’s trip. In any case, couldn’t the representative from Cornwall Council be briefed to represent us on any Scilly specific issues?

    Problem families are harder to detect on Scilly – really? Given the size of the population and the size of the Social Services department in relation to that population can it be harder to detect problem family than say someone living in a tower block in London? Is there any evidence to back-up your claim?

  5. Nathalie April 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    One could argue – especially when it comes to social services – that the few must be represented along with the many. It would reflect badly on Scilly if we didn’t have a representative there and there are 5 problem families. Also worth pointing out that so called ‘problem families’ are often harder to detect in areas like Scilly where things tend to be kept more firmly behind closed doors.

  6. Todd Stevens March 31, 2012 at 10:28 am

    He may feel a bit uncomfortable when one of the other Cheif exec’s there ask – “So, just how many millions of people do you over see on those tiny little islands, on these wages, Phil?”

  7. Cassandra March 31, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I don’t think anybody would say that it’s not a good thing, in principle at least, for Hygate to be able to represent the Islands in Downing Street. But is it good enough to warrant the cost, that’s the question for me?

    When the problem family policy was first announced I seem to remember an article on Scilly Today saying that the number of problem families on the Islands was thought to be five although there was some dispute about it being that many. Presumably all the other ‘Chief Executives’ attending the event will represent hundreds if not thousands of problem families each.

    As regards costs, I would have the thought that the travel costs of a trip to London would be unlikely to come in much under £1,000. Obviously Hygate’s time also has a cost and I’m guessing that such a trip would probably take up the best part of three days. One way to cost it is by taking his salary, which, based on publicly available information, must be at least £250 per day, and would mean the cost of attending is nearly £1,800 in total or 9% of the total grant.

    Personally I don’t see that as being a good use of money particularly in a time of austerity and I expect Hygate’s time would have been better spent at his desk in the Town Hall ensuring basic services are carried out properly.

    • Dan March 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

      I just showed this to my wife, she said ” its just not right, nothings right these days!”

  8. Todd Stevens March 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Are we sure we want him to go? The delights of London may lure him away from Scilly permanently. We wouldn’t want that to happen, he is far too popular!