GRAHAM Carey has been appointed as the independent chair for the Thurrock Safeguarding Adults Board.
The 58-year-old is a retired police Superintendent who served for 33 years in the Essex force before retiring.
His last posting was as the Superintendent in charge of neighbourhood policing in Thurrock and he had earlier served as a police inspector at both Grays and Tilbury police stations.
Graham is very familiar with adult safeguarding as he has been Thurrock’s independent adult safeguarding champion since 2009.
The new role follows the requirement for safeguarding adults becoming a statutory duty for the council under the Care Act 2014.
Cllr Barbara Rice, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The independent chair will provide strong leadership and governance of the board, and of all the organisations represented on it.
“He will also promote best practice and raise awareness of safeguarding, holding the council and others top account when necessary.”
The Thurrock Safeguarding Adults Board is a partnership of organisations and people who all have an interest in ensuring people who may be vulnerable because of age or illness are kept safe in the borough.
Graham said: “I am absolutely delighted that Thurrock’s adult safeguarding board has chosen me to be its first independent chair, those who know me know of my passion for protecting those in the community who perhaps can’t always protect themselves.
“I have been a part of the Adult Safeguarding Board since 2009 both as independent champion and co-chairing alongside the council.
“I’m very proud of what the board has done over recent years both to raise awareness of the risk of harm and abuse and in taking steps that have made some individuals and some groups less vulnerable than they were.
“A key part of this role for me is that I am on the adult safeguarding board to speak up for those who can’t always speak up for themselves.
“As an independent chair you have to keep pushing and making a noise to keep this agenda in front of those who hold the purse strings and make the big decisions.”
He added: “Adult safeguarding is not about spending a lot of money. It’s about making people recognise that there are risks to vulnerable people and vulnerable groups in our community, particularly at this time when everybody is looking to spend less and make savings.
“If those risks can be seen beforehand, and often they can, then somebody needs to be pointing that out and making sure that people are held accountable.”