John Wood Independent Chair introduction
By way of background I was born in Stoke-on-Trent and having lived and worked in Staffordshire and Stoke-on Trent all my life I have an insight into the local social, political and economic environments. I was formerly a police officer with Staffordshire Police retiring as acting Assistant Chief Constable in 2007 after 30 years of service. In my early Police career I developed a broad base of operational experience in a variety of roles including several years in the Criminal Investigation Department. I went on to work for many years as the Divisional Police Commander for Stoke-on-Trent where I was an active member of many of the key strategic partnerships in North Staffordshire.
As a Board member of the Stoke-on-Trent Local Strategic Partnership I took responsibility as the Block lead for Safer Stronger Communities and had a leading role in aligning and driving the partnership activity to deliver improved community focused outcomes. After leaving Staffordshire Police I was actively involved for 7 years in coordinating the work of the Staffordshire Criminal Justice Board making links to the wider network of community safety, safeguarding and public protection partnerships including the Staffordshire Domestic Abuse Steering Group. I have also supported the work of the Third Sector through my past involvement as a Board member with Brighter Futures. From my position as Independent Chair of the Board I have been impressed by the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the many front line practitioners that I have met and their clear focus on doing their very best for those adults whom we are here to protect from harm.
My focus is on seeking assurances that services to people with care and support needs are person-centred, easy to access and promote independence, whilst ensuring people feel safe. I am particularly keen to advocate that the ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ agenda is embedded throughout and across all partner organisations and that front line staff are supported to have the confidence in delivering this.
John Wood QPM