Yesterday, a ghost popped back to Cowley.
Have a butchers at this report from the Wolverhampton Star:
Although we are not mentioned by name, Steven’s case is the one referred to in the penultimate paragraph. Linda Saunders was the Director of Housing & Adult Social Care at Hillingdon during the time of Steven’s unlawful detention in 2010. The woman who signed off the care plan to move Steven to Wales. The woman who waited to deliver her apology until the cameras were rolling on the steps outside the High Court.
I know that she was still working for Hillingdon in late 2012. She was in charge at the time Hillingdon made us homeless and led to the past four years of not knowing where we will be living. I remember her coming onto Radio 5 to defend the council’s position and bizarrely , even though she wasn’t asked, wanted to make it clear that the eviction was not revenge of having to pay Steven damages.
After Hillingdon, she moved to the same sort of role at Dudley Council. There have been several reports since about the “failing services” in social care at that authority.
It looks like she stayed there all of two years before descending upon Wolverhampton at the end of last year to take up the position of “interim strategy director for people”. Trousering £241, 542.00k per annum in the process.
This report was sent to me by one of the parents involved in 7 Days of Action. In a grotesque version of Groundhog Day, she told me how Ms Saunders had been the person that signed off the court of protection forms to support the council’s decision to move her son miles out of borough. Six years on from our case and it looks like she is still up to her old tricks.
What on earth is an “Interim Strategy Director For People”?
From the experiences of the past six years, it looks like her strategy for learning disabled people is to get shot of them from the borough in which she works. And nothing interim about their moves. The strategy brings about permanent moves in the cases I know about. After Steven’s case was reported, I heard from several other parents in Hillingdon, whose children had already been shipped out or were on the verge of being moved. It seemed to me to be a deliberate strategy, albeit one that you would never see publicised.
What is it about people in top roles who encounter public disgrace for their failing in their role? The story of Linda Saunders has clear echoes of the story of Katrina Pearcy, the CEO of Southern Health. She also was moved from her CEO role into an “interim strategic” role on the same sort of salary as Ms Saunders. Are they part of an elite that have been sent to earth to cleanse the country of leaning disabled people?
You know that phrase, “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”?
I’ve got a new one: “If you pay gold nuggets, you get gold-diggers”.