Letter: Cheshire passes its inspection

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The Independent Online
Sir: You reported ('Councils failing in duty to inspect homes', 17 October) on local authorities' performance in fulfilling their statutory duties for the inspection of residential homes for children, and elderly and handicapped people. I was surprised to see Cheshire County Council's performance described as 'unclear'. The position is straightforward.

We have published targets for our inspections - namely, to inspect every residential establishment twice a year. This target was fully achieved during 1993/94. This was reported in the annual report of our social services inspection unit, which has been publicly available since April. At the time of writing, we have achieved 80 per cent of our annual target and anticipate once again reaching 100 per cent by the end of the year.

The social services inspectorate visited Cheshire County Council's inspection unit in 1993 and gave us a favourable report - including our performance on the inspection of residential homes. Indeed, a number of approaches within Cheshire have been commended by the inspectorate to other local authorities.

Yours faithfully, MICHAEL E. PITT Chief Executive Cheshire County Council 24 October