Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kent Council – Child Care cover up?

Kent council has made public in a well publicised move the release of the independent report "Children’s Services Improvement Plan" giving a candid assessment of Kent Children services. A cynic might think this was a managed PR event, by Kent Council diverting attention.

What we don't have is any explanation of how things got into such a deplorable state, BBC South East Today news programme, tonight employed more resources than is usual in reporting such matters, with reporter Simon Jones and Louise Stewart, sadly neither thought to ask the question, how did this happen?

Paul Francis ( political editor) for Kent Messenger group in this report also did not feel it necessary to remind readers that we still don't know why Kent Children services became so run down, although in fairness the most revealing insight can be found in this earlier article by Paul Francis, which I strongly urge you read.

Whilst it's correct to have release this report, KCC would gain some respect and be performing its public service obligations were to issue a report explaining of what went wrong, this report has not given much more information than had already been placed in the public domain.

Since Kent Council appears not to have a desire to learn from their mistakes or acknowledge them, the public is left to guess at what went wrong, it would difficult not to make the assumption that poor management is the sole cause, certainly nobody is blaming hard pressed front line staff, so we are left conclude was it the politicians, officers or both?

I leave you to sort the bones out of these two conflicting quotes  concerning the child care crisis, firstly Peter Gilroy the former Kent Council Chief Exec "When I raised my concerns, that was in 2009 when we did a report and even then I was starting to worry about a whole range of things that were happening. and from Cllr Paul Carter Leader of Kent Council "How Peter can say ‘Not me Gov’ I find quite astonishing. adding "I think that he’s been very economical with the facts. Peter and I had some concerns at the end of 2008-09 and asked for an independent report to be carried out.

PS I always thought Paul and Peter were singing from the same hymn sheet, perhaps I was wrong? we all make mistakes

Bignews previous posting



  1. I'm afraid it is in those comments that you will find the answer Tony.

    I'll leave it at that.

  2. It's no secret that Kcc repeatedley ignored the people on the front line of Childrens services and their attempts to do things differently.
    Unfortunately the desk bound single cell creatures that inhabit KCC are able to make policy and direct in whatever way they please, well now they have to reap the whirlwind.....
    Cant wait till the same effect befalls our dear Thanet Council who operate in exactly the same manner.

  3. Plenty of money attached to children services it seems.

    It does appear Paul & Peter were definitely singing from the same hymn book at one time as were/are all the Councillors who have kept this buried for so long. Of course once he got the push it could have been another story.

    It does appear Peter was a well known speakers at such events.

    "Our answer on 7th July was Peter Gilroy has spoken to delegates on Common Purpose programmes giving lectures about his role as Chief Executive and his broader experience of management and innovation. He spoke at events on 15th March 2006 and 15th May 2007. No charge was ever made by KCC or Peter Gilroy himself for these talks."

    "(Although he has been a guest speaker at two Common Purpose events)."

    Some might say this may have been a deciding factor in children services as to why things have apparently gone so wrong or the cynical might may claim has really just been kept hidden for so long ?

    Thank you for confirming that Kent County Council has spent
    £125,072.02 to date from 2000; although this figure could change
    once you have replied to email 20th March 2009.

  4. anon agree

    Independent Birmingham chair ??? isn’t this the stomping ground of MP - John Hemming ? who SUPPOSEDLY speaks out against social services & forced adoptions but whose not so forth coming with transparency , although he does appear a very good collector of information on families ?

    Does make one wonder just how ‘independent’ these reports really are, especially when MP’s can be considered no more than ‘gate keepers ‘ keeping their stock in check and of course the people in the dark. Could they be working together to keep this subject hidden ?

    ’I refer to the public meeting linked to below:


    Please could you provide a link to where the recordings of this
    meeting can be found.

    Please also provide the FULL transcript of the meeting minutes,
    including the comments made by the public.’

  5. Past paid executive staff and political children's portfolio holders will do well to note the following from the Independent report.

    "Malcolm Newsam, now the Interim Corporate Director for Families and Social Care, joined Kent on an interim basis in January 2011 and has driven forward a well focused programme of immediate improvements. He has undoubtedly given the Council and its staff leadership and a sense of direction at a critical time. Similarly the commitment of the new Lead Member for Specialist
    Children’s Services, Jenny Whittle, has reinforced the priority given to the improvement agenda by the political leadership of the Council."

    I think the implications of this are very clear on what kind of leadership was given previously.

  6. anon 11.32

    But is anyone really worth £1250.00 per day ? Whose to say this council tax money couldn't be better spent on the children rather than [child trafficking] anyone who comes into contact with a children in care earns a fortune and this obscene sum proves it ?

    KENT temps paid up to £1,250 a day by council that’s slashing hundreds of jobs (that's three times David Cameron's daily wage)

    A council forced to cut services and slash hundreds of jobs has been paying up to £1,250 a day each for six temporary staff.

    They were brought in at Kent County Council to replace directors who were made redundant, but are now earning up to three times Prime Minister David Cameron’s daily wage.

    The temps, who have cost the taxpayer £205,000 in their first three months, were hired by the Tory-run council’s group managing director, Katherine Kerswell, who joined the authority last year on an annual salary of £197,000.

    She is overseeing huge cutbacks, including the loss of 1,500 jobs, in a bid to reduce the council’s budget by £165million over the next two years.

    The most highly-paid temp is families and care director Malcolm Newsam, who costs the council £1,250 a day, followed by Alastair Pettigrew, head of specialist children’s services, £825 a day, then Andy Roberts in the education and learning department, £780 a day.

    And in civil law cases, the best-paid legal aid barristers – one made nearly £600,000 – were experts in divorce and child law in the secretive family courts.

    Earnings from legal aid among barristers are now such that one in every 30 of Britain’s 15,000 barristers earns more than Mr Cameron’s annual £142,500.

  7. Well done to all the whistle blowers that attended this recent event which had a massive turn out far more than expected. What a pity Mr Carter or any of the corporate bods/councillors didnt bother to turn up, probably too ashamed of themselves and their links to childrens services.

    Kent Freedom Movement Presents Brian Gerrish

  8. Yes Brian Gerrish editor of the UK Column is who we should have running the country every thing he said is fact and fully proven. The riff raff running Kent wouldnt be classed as fit enough to make the tea let alone be allowed near children if the media including the local newspapers darned print the truth.

  9. International child trafficking paid for from the council tax
    2 x American

    Payment for air fares for prospective adoptive parents.
    Airlines :mad: