Isle of Wight Council has today announced the appointment of Ian Anderson to the new role of Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing and Social Care, following an internal appointment process.
The role brings together the two current posts of Director for Children & Young People and Director for Community Services into one role as part of the council’s move towards a smaller tier of senior managers. This is the first step of a commitment that staff reductions will take place at all levels of the organisation.
It also recognises the steps being taken to restructure both of these areas and to look towards a change in the council’s remit as an organisation that commissions services to meet the needs of Island residents rather than an organisation that delivers all of the services itself.
Mr Anderson, who joined the council earlier this year as Strategic Director for Community Services has overseen the transforming social care programme, the development of the voluntary prospectus and the council’s joint working with health. He will take up the new post from the New Year, following his appointment by an interview panel convened by the Employment Committee.
The new role, will not however include responsibility for education. This will instead transfer to Chief Executive Steve Beynon, who will take on additional responsibility for school improvement, at no extra cost to the council, alongside his existing oversight of the school reorganisation programme. The statutory lead director responsibility for children’s services as a whole will sit with Mr Anderson.
Recognising that the changes had not come without a casualty – with the departure of Colin Peak, the current Director of Children’s Services, Chief Executive Steve Beynon said, “Colin has, during his time with the authority, taken great steps to bring about a positive change within his directorate resulting in improvements in our services to children and young people which have also been noted by our Ofsted inspectors. He has also been a popular director amongst staff and we shall be sorry to see him go and wish him all the best in pursuing his future career.”
He added, “We are in unprecedented times which require significant changes to meet the colossal scale of the cuts to our funding. Residents and, indeed our own staff, have told us they want us to look at our staffing levels from the top down and that is precisely what we are doing. It’s also a time that is ripe for change with schools being given the freedom to make choices about the services they buy, with individual residents being given the freedom with how to spend the care money they are allocated through personal budgets and both having many more places other than the council with whom to spend their money.”
Commenting on his appointment, Ian Anderson said, “I am delighted to be taking up this role having had a career spanning both children’s and adult social care. Besides ensuring a seamless connection for those young people moving into adulthood who can so easily fall between these two traditionally separate service areas, this joint role will allow us to take the opportunity to streamline many of our internal processes. Processes which are replicated in both the children’s and adult social care areas and which will enable us to increase our opportunity for savings without negatively impacting on the important services we provide to these key groups of residents.”