27th April 2012
Met with the Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council on Tuesday 24 April at 12 noon. I believe she had given up her lunch hour as her diary was so full, so I did appreciate that. My local Councillor Wendy Stuart was also present and of course yours truly. Meeting commenced with Chief Executive apologising most sincerely on behalf of Aberdeen City Council for the 106 people having been through our home, and stating it is something she would not wish to experience. On saying this was not her area of expertise and she only had the information gleaned from Councillor Stuart, she requested I give her an overall picture of events.
Valerie Watts – the Chief Executive – was most receptive, and whilst saying she was not in direct control went on to say what she could do was check with the Director of Social Care & Wellbeing to change this round. Also, she could be the driving force and her aim is for Aberdeen City Council to be a “LISTENING” Council. Valerie Watts intends to speak with the Care Team and get a direct response back to me.
On discussing the “middle block” being the problem area, she remarked to Councillor Stuart that this was a problem not only re our Care Meeting, but prevalent throughout the Council!!!!! She asked Councillor Stuart why there was no forum held in this area only to learn there had been for the first 2 years of Councillor Stuart joining the council, but was later disbanded. Valerie Watts said that my being there exchanging/informing them of what was taking place was exactly what should be happening. I referred her to some of the enclosures with a note I had prepared showing that for the past 2 years at least, this is exactly what was being promoted although it hasn’t necessarily taken off. Irrespective of who gets into Council after this May election she intends restarting a Care Forum!
I referred to the fact I was only one person but had to deal with 106 different personalities, to which she replied “you have a big personality and are a very articulate lady, and I can not think of a better person to be representing this cause”. Valerie Watts said she had learned a lot from our meeting and although it would not be possible for she herself to read everything I had given her she would have her staff check some of it out, along with the DVD and Tommy’s video. It is her intention to have me return for a meeting and coffee with her at a later date.
So there you go ladies and gents, I survived and felt most empowered after the event.