27/02/2010 Leave a comment
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of taking Suffolk’s Director of Social Services Graham Gatehouse out to lunch; sadly it was to mark his retirement from Suffolk. In his six years as Director, Graham has overseen a number of important innovations that have transformed the quality of the services we are able to provide and at the same time answered the incoming Conservative administration’s demand for cost efficiency in the back office with ACS delivering 60% of the total efficiency savings across the council in our first term.
Wherever I go, another Council or to a conference, the conversation with care professionals goes something like this: “Hello, you’re from Suffolk, oh Graham Gatehouse is your Director!, how is he?, what a nice guy, you know your very lucky to have his knowledge in Suffolk, please do pass on my regards, I know him from….”.
The previous Monday I took some time over picking him a card and decided not to give his a ‘Sorry you’re leaving’ type one but a ‘thank you’ card, as I wanted to say thank you for all the help and advice he had been kind enough to give me in the 8 months I have been Portfolio Holder for Adult and Community Services. I shall miss his knowledge and amazing enthusiasm for the service after all the years he has worked and been a leader in his field. I wish him all the very best and I suspect he will not be retired for long, before his dedication to better care of the elderly and vulnerable in our society brings him back into a role somewhere and I wish him extremely well.