Thursday, June 02, 2011

Kent Tories – Are they side-stepping questions on 2000 "at risk" children?

trudy ddeanOver the years I've been writing this blog, one fairly strong theme has been, Kent County Councils apparent obsession with moulding public image, perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of this, has been the claims made by the council of "excellence" and reference to being a 4 star council, a meaningless term to many of us.

Last year Ofsted alerted KCC in November to the dire state of its inadequate childcare provision which exposed 2,000 children to significant risk, Conservative leader of the council Paul Carter shortly afterwards said their would be a review.

At the request of members of the KCC Cabinet Scrutiny committee the question was asked, by the committee chair Trudy Dean Lib Dem, basically what's happening re the review, well Paul Carter had apparently made his excuses and did not attend the meeting and Jenny Whittle (Con), cabinet member of children's services didn't seem keen on reviewing how things got so bad, nor did former cabinet member Chris Wells (Con).

Blame is an inflammatory term, and unfortunately it has surfaced in reference to what to my mind is a simple review, into finding out how KCC slid into such a dire state and if necessary pointing out who is responsible.

Of course things have improved, and Jenny Whittle and Chris Wells are right look to the future and concentrate on making the improvement, however Trudy Dean is also right to represent her fellow councillors who irrespective of party affiliations understand that knowing how an "excellent" council could risk our most vulnerable is not an unreasonable request which might prevent similar errors in the future.

Finally a reference to "politics" was unnecessary, accepting that the subject is emotive. its still my view that children deserve better than middle-aged men and women point scouring on such a serious issue. Kent Council is not run purely for the pompous self opinionated councillors, some of us are stupid enough to still believe, in public services.

View the webcast click here and start viewing around 1:00 hour in.


  1. It does seem strange that Carter doesn't turn up, Wells and Whittle just stone wall.

    Who's being protected?

  2. KCC issues arent really reported as widely as they should be, especially in an issue such as this and thats a great disappointment, so thanks for bringing this up Tony. I havent had time to watch the webcast in full (its quite long) and to review the documents they look at but certainly the first 20 or so minutes are revealing.

  3. I have watched the webcast and still would like to know who was in charge when the rot started. Over the last 4 years the elected cabinet members in childrens services have been:

    Cllr Chris Wells
    Cllr Leyland Ridings
    Cllr Sarah Hohler
    Cllr Jenny Whittle

    And not fogetting the leader cllr Paul Carter

    The paid executive officers have been:

    Chief Exec Peter Gilroy

    Managing Director of the Children, Families and Education
    2002-2009 Grayham Badman
    2009-2011 Rosalind Turner

    I wont bore you with how many hundreds of thousands these staff were paid and how big their payoffs were but in the privte sector if you foul up you just get sacked.

  4. 9 38 Perhaps Mr Carter had something more important to do, than answer questions on yet another failure of KCC

    I must say I was somewhat surprised that Chris Wells is apparently content with no review.

    James your right that KCC matters are rarely reported although to their credit the BBC for once did what we pay them for and report on local democracy in action rather than Westminster.

    10 35 Your right we ought to know how the situation occurred and lets be honest most of those with direct managerial responsibility have been very well looked after, by you and I as Taxpayer and really officers who have received 100K + salaries ought to be accountable.

    As we all know if you or I are in arrears on council tax "officers" wont hesitate to do what ever to recover tax due, allowing children to be put at risk doesn't have to be accounted for.

    If Paul Carter, Jenny Whittle and Chris Wells have no wish or stomach to establish what caused such a crisis why don't they resign.

  5. It's all flannel and cover up, I'm afraid. When one understands the underlying agenda it becomes obvious that the 'authorities' are NEVER working in our best interests, even if they believe that they are.

    I couldn't get the webcast btw, (not Mac friendly).

    Regarding the "ecoli scare" here is more hard evidence that the globalist scumbags are trying to finish us off:

    interview here:

  6. Bet you don't get any contribution from Tory Councillor Chris "run away" Wells.

  7. What a load of old cobblers. Labour in opposition are simply devoid of ideas and resort to perpetual knocking. Frankly why should anyone bother to respond to some of these comments.

  8. Anyono who has watched KCC council meetings over the last few years will know that KCC have run budget surpluses under the leadership of Gilroy and Carter. And very please they have been with themselves. But to achieve this they left many posts vacant including those in childrens services and no doubt in other critiacal services. No doubt this drafting in of contract labour to rectify this bad situation will have cost more than the previous budget savings.

  9. Oh dear, we are now back to the old "left-right" ping pong... God help us!

  10. I have to say it is quite unusual not to have a comment from Chris Wells on a subject which comes within his expertise

  11. Oh dear I see the Parkway station is dead in the water. A big chunk of taxpayers money saved from being wasted.

  12. That's good, we can afford to drop a couple more bombs on Libya.

  13. Wells doesn't comment when he's on the back foot. That's not how he achieved the positions he's achieved.

  14. Interesting, that the BBC has a keen interest all of a sudden, it is a shame she didnt pass on her contacts at the BBC to the former councillor who was losing her grandchildren to forced adoption; could have just been carrot dangling in the hope that she would stand for the LIB Dems ?

    How shameful that no party has any real backbone in addressing this area of children "at risk" from Kent forced adoption targets.