Social services move 'no risk to public' - council

The Advertiser Series: PRIORY HOUSE: A general view of Priory House, Pity Me, Durham. Picture: TOM BANKS (9048456) PRIORY HOUSE: A general view of Priory House, Pity Me, Durham. Picture: TOM BANKS (9048456)

A COUNCIL chief has written to residents over controversial plans to move social services into their area.

People living on Smithfield, in Pity Me, Durham, fear they will suffer crime, anti-social behaviour and drug use if Durham County Council care for vulnerable families is moved to Priory House, currently a financial services office.

Now Peter Coe, a development manager in the council’s regeneration and economic development department, has written to residents answering a series of questions.

He says 41 staff are to be moved from Hopper House, off North Road, to Priory House, comprising the Looked After Children and Assessment and Intervention teams.

Mr Coe says the service was not moved to County Hall because that building is full to capacity and its public nature would have made it impossible to ensure the anonymity and confidentiality of service users.

He continues: “There is absolutely no reason to suggest that users of the service present a risk to ordinary members of the public or residents living near to Priory House.

“The teams moving in are extremely experienced and have well established risk control mechanisms in place.

“Risk assessments are undertaken as a matter of course and risk controls put in place.”

Framwellgate and Newton Hall county councillor Mark Wilkes said he was waiting to see if residents still had concerns.

Ian Thompson, the council’s corporate director for regeneration and economic development, previously said the police had received no reports of incidents relating to the service in the last five years at Hopper House and most of the work would take place off site.

Comments (2)

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6:19pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Roger_Cornwell says...

Spare a thought for the service users, who used to have an office convenient for the bus station, who, if they live anywhere but north of the City centre, will now have to traipse out to Pity Me.
Spare a thought for the service users, who used to have an office convenient for the bus station, who, if they live anywhere but north of the City centre, will now have to traipse out to Pity Me. Roger_Cornwell
  • Score: 5

10:33pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Longbowman666 says...

Agreed - and a vast overreaction from those folks round the Pity Me area considering that Hopper House has performed this service for years in the centre of Durham with no reports of anything happening at all.
Agreed - and a vast overreaction from those folks round the Pity Me area considering that Hopper House has performed this service for years in the centre of Durham with no reports of anything happening at all. Longbowman666
  • Score: 4

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