North West Dumfries Councillors David McKie and Ronnie Nicholson have expressed their concerns over delays in the opening of a new Children’s Unit in Dumfries which is still being constructed nine months after the ‘topping out’ ceremony even although the Chair of Social Work, Councillor Andy Ferguson claimed that the building would be handed in early 2013.
The local councillors have also criticised the failure of the Tory SNP coalition to keep local people updated over the matter.
Councillor McKie, Labour Group spokesperson for Social Works, said
“It was only last November we saw the Chair of the Social Works Services at the ‘topping out’ ceremony telling everyone that the centre would be open in early 2013. Since then he has been noticeably quiet on the issue. I asked the question in an attempt to finally get an opening date.”
“The construction of this new children home seems to have been riddled with problems since the planning stage. Its completion is months behind and there are now issues over staffing as the council seems unable to take on board staff concerns.”
Fellow North West Dumfries Councillor and Leader of the Labour Group Ronnie Nicholson added:
“The unit was built to ensure more local youngsters were able to stay within their local community rather than sending children to placements outside the region. Out of region placements cost the council a significant amount and causing distress to the children as they have to leave their local community. Yet after a spending money on our own unit, we are still spending a significant amount sending children on placements outside the region away from their local communities because the unit has not yet opened. What makes me particularly angry is the utter failure of the council to keep people up to date on what is happening.”