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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dodgy and inaccurate surveys

This morning's Western Mail gives some prominence to a report by an allegedly leading think tank which Disabled Charity, Scope say has identified significant differences in the way local authorities in Wales are coping with cuts to their social services budgets.

It is impossible for any one person to judge the accuracy or otherwise of this report so we aee forced to take it at face value. However, on the basis of the authority I know the best, Swansea, my opinion of this survey is that it is not worth the paper it is written on.

Swansea for example, has not closed a nursing home as is claimed. The Council do not own or run any nursing homes. They have restructured their respite care by closing down a respite care home which had been condemned by the Social Services Inspectorate and replaced it with alternative and more flexible provision.

If Demos and Scope cannot even get that right then why should I take their report seriously. It shows what happens when an organisation based in London, which has no understanding or knowledge of Wales seeks to pass judgement on Welsh Councils.

Demos has not seen fit to disclose its methodology, and its execution is shoddy. Swansea 's colour code is 'Very Good' on the map, yet 'Bad' in the text. This may be because Demos have mis-identified Swansea as Carmarthenshire on the self-same map, and vice versa. That is a fairly fundamental error.

Swansea increases its spend on social care. This is 'Bad' according to Demos. Durham cuts its expenditure by 14%. This is 'OK' according to Demos. There is a political difference between the two councils that might explain this result. I wonder what it is.

The lesson is clear: beware of London-based think tanks writing reports on Wales.
at least they are having a go at looking at disabled persons economical lives, even if it is from a london desk
Bewildering how Carmarthenshire seemed to top the chart, transport links for all persons are the worst in Wales in this county, did the think tank take into this in its consideration?
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