National recognition for SNP rising star

Cecil Meiklejohn

Falkirk Council’s SNP spokesperson for Social Services, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, has been appointed to a powerful new national body set up to oversee the improvement of Social Works Services.

The Social Care & Social Work Improvement Scotland Board is a new organisation which will begin operating on the 1 April 2011.  The Chair of the Board is Professor Frank Clark, who was appointed in November 2010.

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland will take on the functions of The Social Work Inspection Agency, the Care Commission (with the exception of independent healthcare regulation) and HMIE’s functions in respect of the inspection of child protection and the development of children’s services inspection.

It will have around 600 staff and an initial budget of around £35 million.

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland will take the lead in improving the quality of social care and social work and children’s services.  It will achieve this by regulating and inspecting; assessing risk; providing guidance and advice; influencing policy and standards; supporting improvement a, and reporting publicly.  The Board will be responsible for the efficient, effective and accountable governance of the organisation and for providing strategic leadership and direction which focuses on agreed outcomes.

These Ministerial public appointment was made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland’s Code of Practice..

Mrs Meiklejohn was first elected in 2007 having previously worked with Clackmannan Council’s Housing Department as an Occupation Therapist. She became the SNP spokesperson for Housing and Social Work spokesperson in 2008 and has made a significant impact since.

Said Cllr Meiklejohn,

I am both flattered and proud to have been appointed to this influential and important organisation.

With public services facing funding cut backs it is vitally important that we get value for money and that means bringing about change in the manner Social Services operate.

I am thoroughly enjoying being and elected Councillor in Falkirk and I believe that my appointment to the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Board will be beneficial to Falkirk Council as much as it will assist with my own personal development.”

A delighted SNP Group Leader, David Alexander welcomed the appointment. Cllr Alexander said,

Since her election in 2007 Cecil has demonstrated a real talent and is a stand out within Falkirk Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee.

Indeed Labour and Tory opponents have been fulsome in their praise of her performance in recent months. I am delighted she has proved them right although I can not help but feel the experience she gains working on a national stage will further expose the lck of talent within the current Labour / Tory council coalition.”

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