Sunday, 3 June 2012
Concern was expressed in yesterday's Courier that the new staff travel policy at Dundee City Council could adversely affect service provision to the City Council's customers. Views about this were, in particular, expressed about social work services.
I have been in contact with the City Council's Chief Executive about this situation and he has responded to me as follows:
"The policy has only recently been introduced, therefore it is perhaps too early for staff to make the allegations they have in the Courier this morning. However there is within the policy what I would describe as a test of reasonableness, and I would expect managers and staff to assess whether applying the policy in each travel situation was going to reduce our staff's effectiveness.
I can assure you we are not going to slavishly follow a policy that means our front line staff are less effective, and our service users receive a lower quality or quantity of service. Obviously, I will be following this up with all Chief Officers, but particularly the Director of Social Work and will get back to later next week to update you and other elected members on the situation."
I am pleased at the Chief Executive's response as it gives reassurance that a common sense approach must be taken in terms of staff travel. The quality and efficiency of services to Dundee residents is key and should not be compromised by particular staff travel arrangements.