A MAN who overheard social workers in a cafe discussing what he believed to be a sensitive child welfare case has hit out at a council.

Gareth Brodiak was out doing some shopping when he nipped into Tesco supermarket in Accrington to use the toilet.

On his way to the bathroom he passed a group of Lancashire County Council social workers sitting around a table in the store cafe.

He said he overheard them discussing a case which involved the granting of parental access to a child in care.

But the council insists the meeting was a training exercise and no real-life cases were being discussed.

Mr Brodiak, 39, said at the time he was appalled and couldn’t believe such a sensitive issue was being spoken about in an open public space.

He said: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I took the photo and phoned the council to complain, and the lady I phoned was really apologetic. It’s not right discussing things like that in public, anyone could’ve been listening.”

Sharon Hubber, director of children’s social care at Lancashire County Council, said: “We can confirm the incident which was photographed was a training exercise.

“No real cases were discussed during this exercise and therefore no confidential material could have been overheard.

“We will review the guidance over appropriate spaces where such training exercises should take place.”

Mr Brodiak said: “There’s no way anyone in the cafe would’ve known this was a training exercise.

“Even if that was the case, it’s an inappropriate place to be conducting one; anything that involves sensitive information, training or otherwise, should be done behind closed doors.”