Thursday, 21 January 2010

Age Unconcern Update: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...

I drew attention last year to the strange goings-on around Age Concern in Barking and Dagenham.

A commenter to that thread noted that Claire Ramm has had the charges against her dismissed, though it looks as though the trial of the other defendants is proceding, and will go ahead in September.

Any jubilation is likely to be shortlived, however, as the Barking and Dagenham Post reports (story not yet online, only in hard copy) that the council is giving Age Concern the heave-ho as the main provider of elderly services in the borough. Their contract will not be renewed in March.

Council leader Liam Smith is reported by the 'Post' as saying:
"The workers and carers do a fantastic job. But I have concerns about their management structure" he said."

"It has always felt like a one way street to me."

"We give to them and they don't deliver on their promises. Just look at the Active Age centres."
A bit ironic to hear a council member saying this about a supplier, when it's usually a long-suffering taxpayer saying it about the council..!

And for 'A', who seemed unduly distressed at my description of them as 'a fake charity', well, here's a clue...


manwiddicombe said...

Age Concern and Help the Aged are merging very soon to create the *new* much larger Age UK.

That might explain why their contract is not being renewed in March?

JuliaM said...

Are they indeed? Very interesting!

Mark Wadsworth said...

ManW, the two merged several months ago, didn't they?

JuliaM said...

It appears they did.

manwiddicombe said...

My apologies. Their site says they will 'be known by their new name from spring 2010' which is where I drew the wrong impression from.

I don't know if it changes my original comment or not. Age Concern won't be getting the contract renewed (as they will no longer exist as a separate entity) but is it going to Age UK instead? I can't find the story to check.

JuliaM said...

If their website is designed and run as well as their other areas of 'business', it's no wonder it's wrong!

No, the story still hasn't appeared on the electronic version of the B&D Post or it's sister paper, the 'Recorder'. Which is odd.