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