Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I see that senior Kent Conservative KCC Leader Cllr Paul Carter still continues to object to an inquiry into how Kent council left 2600 children at serious risk of harm. 

This weeks Thanet Times reports on how Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Trudy Dean is calling for an independent inquiry into the matter.

My own personal view is this, Kent council endangered the lives of our most vulnerable, namely our children, and since Ofsted reported on the inadequate child services, Kent council have now spent millions on rectifying the situation, at no point has the Conservative administration offered any explaination of how the services became so run down.

What possible conclusion can one draw at the reluctance of Kent Conservatives, responsible for governing services, objecting to an honest independent inquiry.

I wonder why Paul Carter, maintains this line " I feel there is no need whatsoever for a public inquiry"

In my opinion until we know what went wrong we can only draw our own conclusions, which is a shame as  is the reluctance to be open and honest. 

I suggest you ask one of Kent's Conservative councillors who can be found here, and don't forget you're paying these people quite generously, so how about you ask your representative, what's going on and make them earn your money.


  1. Why would he want yet another so-called "independent" inquiry ?

    If the truth was ever allowed to be told it would be so shocking that they would all be removed as they should be.

    The child industry pays "some" very well indeed, without a constant supply of 'voice less children' and silenced families they would have no business to be kept hidden.

    The only thing KCC children services fear is exposure.

  2. See Tory Councillor Chris Wells isn't crawling out of the woodwork to comment on this one. Guess there's no opportunity to score cheap and dirty political points against Labour.

  3. I am here, anon of 0806; and the appearance of anon of 0300 and the regular accusations at odds with every statistic available is sometimes good reason to be cautious about comment.

    Trudy Dean keeps making the same (politically motivated) accusations based on the flimsiest of evidence. I explained very clearly on this blog at the time of the OFSTED report what had gone awry, and why the change from the excellent JAR rating of 2008 had been so rapid.

    I also explained very clearly at the KCC Scrutiny Panel last year how much the environment of employment and ability to attract social workers had changed since 2008.

    Trouble is nobody is listening, least of all Trudy Dean (and her local lickspittle, Tony Flaig!!!!) as she continues to politicise a situation which has always been reported to cross party committees.

    Nobody can be proud of what happened; the reasons around staff shortages, poor supervision, and dysfunctional management reporting IT systems, will not be changed by public enquiry, and a public enquiry risks diverting considerable effort away from the proper management of those vulnerable children we all claim to be trying to protect.

    Sadly, Children's Social Services probably remains the least understood yet most important and risky element of work undertaken by councils. I hope you have all been watching the recent BBC television series on social work cases in Bristol: if you have, you will already have better understanding of the decisions and risk management that goes on every day in social service departments across the country, including Kent.

  4. This vile, sleazy, disgusting, corrupt system is coming down, Chris, you had better get yourself right with your conscience before that happens.

    "Just following orders" is no excuse.

  5. I dont know about others but I am sick and tired of the same old cart & pony show.(lets pretend)

    All the councillors are corporate parents and vicariously liable for the actions of children services employees, which is why they can NEVER have a PUBLIC inquiry let alone a 'truly independent' one, simply because they would all be held accountable.(wouldn't want to lose those big fat allowances)

    "in the best interests of the child" is a term coined by Hilter in Nazi Germany which is still used to steal children and abuse them today, and of course "social workers" were first introduced after the war.

    Unfortunately nothing has changed since 1926 when after countless attempts to stop it ,the adoption act was brought in contravening our common law.

    Local authorities and so-called corporate "guardian" parents should never have been allowed access to children. I personally wouldn't trust them with a stuffed dog let alone with providing a transparent inquiry on what has been happening to our children under their care.

    What we should all be asking is where have all the children gone you only have to look into the prison system and all those sleeping rough that have managed to survive the so-called "care system"

  6. Chris Wells does not need to resort to throwing insults to those that do not agree with his view. But then he is not the only tory that does this.

    He may wish to apologise to Tony if he cares to read the defintion of the insult that he made :-

    Lick-spittle. A slimy grovelling and devious person who will do anything to get ahead in their life and career including accepting an order from the boss to lick a big green greasy lump of spit in the hope of promotion or a pat on the head.

    Maybe Tony should take this further and should not let KCC's record in this area drop.

  7. Chris As I understand it your leader Paul Carter promised a review when this scandal was placed in the public domain by Ofsted that there would be a review.

    What happened?

    Why didn't Paul Carter face the scrutiny committee on the subject particularly after he had said this "What are we going to do now? Well, we have to make sure our scrutiny role is rigorous and this doesn't happen again.

    I'm sure questions will continue to be asked until such time as Kent Conservatives embrace the ethos of public service and the big society and open governance, one thing is clear that abusive remarks by bombastic, overbearing, pompous, by any of Kent's Tory councillors will not help matters.

    I find your use of invective which apart from belonging in the gutter is not only offensive but wrong. If as I understand, you are suggesting that I'm some sort of fawning, toady you're wrong, certainly Trudy Dean does a good job, speaks well, and represents my party well in Kent, which I don't think you or Paul Carter do for your own party.

    Finally what are you and fellow Conservatives hiding, surely independent scrutiny of this scandal would clear any doubts about how the lives of 2600 children were put at risk?

    Are children really less important than politicians and officers of Kent council?

  8. Tony you immediately make the obvious mistake, that not being allocated a social worker automatically means that children are suddenly at risk. Every one of those unallocated children was already at risk, not from social workers, but from their family and or immediate environments. Delay in allocation may increase that risk but certainly does not cause it. Social workers then get the unenviable job of analysing what can be done to assist; whether the home situation is tenable, or will result in further damage to the child; if a temporary (foster or wider family break) will give time and space for improvement; or if court action may result in removal, or just a further period of uncertainty.

    It is the fact that children are more important that leads me to state against wasting resources on public enquiry to tell us what we already know - that the KCC Children's social services was not as good as it could, or should have been. Any resources spent now should be about improvement not history. Yes we have to learn the lessons of history, but the public enquiry Trudy keeps demanding is all about blame rather than reason, and as such would not get my support.

    If we now have inspection systems that are working properly - and I have often explained before how the previous inspection system was flawed, let us use that, which is independent, made public, and publicly accountable. All of Kent's actions are currently watched by both OFSTED and the independent panel appointed by them.

    This is one of those situations where politics actually just gets in the way, and may actually prevent the timely changing of behaviours that led to the problem. We somehow lost proper focus on children in the year or two prior to the inspection; it would be wrong to distract attention yet again as we recover and refocus.

    I am sorry if you feel insulted Tony, but you have always simply followed the party line on this one, and refused to accept any other explanation or approach. That is not your usual relatively independent manner, which has often claimed you do not follow the party line on your blog.

    Most county councillors avoid debating this at all if they can. I have always been willing to try and ensure as good an understanding as I can achieve through explanation and description. When you read the comments it can be very frustrating, because personally, at least, I fuly understand the accountability of my role and why it is important. Many do not, in Kent and elsewhere; others just use it as a stick to beat a political opponent, which is very sad indeed. Trudy Dean is always sure of a headline with this one - but never ever is required to explain how and why she would do better.

  9. Is the following supposed to fill us all with confidence Chris because it doesnt nor does the appalling "poor old social worker crap" BBC programme in Bristol the public are not stupid they can see right through it.

    "All of Kent's actions are currently watched by both OFSTED and the independent panel appointed by them."

    May be you could start with answering this instead of throwing insults when people are only trying to get to the truth.

    What links do any KCC councillors have with social services are any of their relatives social workers or foster carers/adoptive carers or do they have any businesses or work for any business linked in with them in any way ?

  10. I can only speak about those I personally know, or have had reason to know. I have a family member who is a social worker. employed after I ceased to be responsible for the department; Mr Cowans, Leader of the Labour Group at KCC is a KCC Foster Carer, and I believe was so prior to becoming a county councillor. I am sure there are others who have links to the care system in some way outside of their county councillor duties, but I would not automatically know all of them.

  11. This posting was always going to be a conspiracy theorists delight and I am surprised Chris Wells has taken so much time and trouble to try to provide answers for zsuch peiople. In the same way they are convinced that we are all manipulated by Jewish banking houses, so they proclaim their wild theories of child abxduction for profit by the percieved establishment.

    OK, give them their inquiry and let Ali Daziel conduct it. The results are irrelevant anyway for nothing will shake them from their nonsensical theories.

  12. Thanks for that Chris obviously transparency is the best policy.

    And isn’t it also well known Chris amongst councillors and staff that KCC Conservative Gary Cooke has an adopted daughter ?

    Was you also aware of the following information regarding KCC Conservative Eric Hotson ?

    Cllr Eric Hotson (Con)- Kingsford Solicitors/KCC contract

    Canterbury CAFCASS / Kingsfords Solicitors Ashford

    From May 2005 to date (2010), the total number of times that Kingsford’s Solicitors have been
    used by the Canterbury office is 106. This information has been retrieved from the Cafcass Case
    Management System.

  13. The last comment underlines the argument that FOI can and will be abused...

  14. Vicarious Liability (criminal) means - "To hold one person liable for the actions of another when engaged in some form of joint or collective activity". So, if you know a crime is about to happen, is happening, or has happened, but you do nothing about it, 'YOU' are just as guilty as those who perpetrated the crimes."

  15. I do not believe anyone is required to acknowledge adoption as an interest in the way you suggest; doI have an interest in the NHS if I have children born there? or in KCCif my children use their schools? I suspect there are real privacy issues there. I know of Mr Cowans because he has spoken of it in council. I cannot comment on who or which solicitors are used by the legal department at KCC or for what purposes, they are a separate department in their own right.

    I would assume a trawl through members interest forms would give some clues though.

  16. I would also add that CAFFCASS is a totally autonomous body associated with the Courts and not KCC, so I am afraid whatever conspiracy theory you are working on is looking a bit thin.

  17. James are you suggesting that transparency is not the best policy your not another Tory by any chance are you ?

    Exposure is clearly what is needed after all if they have nothing to hide why worry ....

    Obviously even some KCC councillors are suddenly getting very worried and rightly so.

    Listen to this and you will find out why it is crucial that we must have transparent services around children.

    Brian GerrishThe British Resistance

  18. No, Im not suggesting that and yes, I am a Tory. Neither should be a suprise since Ive said both before, and it says more about you than it says about me that you ask that.

    What could be learnt from an inquiry now that isn't already known and being acted upon, as we can see from the reports on progress against the Improvement Plan?

    If we are going to go down the child snatching argument, there's no credible evidence of this, other than the accounts of unfortunate people whose children have been put into care, which are matters for courts not the internet.

  19. James, with respect, it is not a good idea to flippantly embroil yourself in this very serious business, just for the sake of defending your party. There is ample evidence, in the eyes of the public, that something is seriously wrong here.

    Unfortunately, the way things stand at the moment, an enquiry will find itself coming up against brick walls, threats and tempting offers.

    As Brian said in the video, there are people out there successfully using commercial liens to tackle this scourge. I think this is the way to go, we need to reclaim our common law rights for a bloodless victory.

  20. Cllr Chris Wells

    Just because your family has been lucky enough not to have been targeted by these individuals or the common sense not to use their “services” this doesn’t absolve you from your vicarious liability as a corporate parent and totally responsible for the actions of children services . All elected councillors have a universal duty to “looked after” children as corporate parents and you can never cease to be responsible whilst you are elected.

    If your “relative” has connections with or links to KCC children social services I would definitely deem this to be a conflicts of interests. All elected corporate parents must declare all interests however loosely who profit from children through children services, we either have transparent services or we don’t .

  21. Well done to Brian and his team for exposing the abuse of children within the authorities, including mentioning Kent in his latest newspaper.

    If Kent children services have nothing to hide why are they so reluctant to answer why children are being sent abroad at a cost of over £104,000 . Children can simply vanish off the face of the earth and we are supposed to trust these people , something is very wrong ?

    Foreign Adoptive Parents Airfares

  22. I have to say this post has been once again hijacked by conspiracy theorist, basically what the public is entitled to know is how and why management at KCC allowed children to be at risk.

    Consevatives can talk to till the cows come home, about the council belatedly bringing things up to standard etc, what we need to know is who allowed things to get so bad and why child services had no effective scrutiny. Was it the politicians or the officers?

    Re Chris Wells I expect a clear apology, for his abusive comment, and would draw his attention to the email sent Peter Sass (KCC democratic services), a copy of which has been sent to his KCC email address and also his Leader's Paul Carter.

    Since Chris is so concerned about costs, he can retract his obnoxious comment or I will pursue this through the councils standards board.

    I haven't deleted his comment as since I've been working nights this week, the damage was well and truly done by the time I saw it, and I suppose at least it informs us on how Kent Conservatives view the electorate.

  23. There's a breakdown of the £104k spent as well as answering most questions asked within the FOI thread. Inter-country adoption is entirely legal as long as its done within the law, which as far as we can see, it is.

  24. Tony, I once complained about a councillor not declaring that he had a paid interest when speaking about the Audit commission at a council meeting and Peter Sass made sure that the councillor apologised at the next meeting. But it seems to me that the only people policing such matters are the public and the same councillor now puts n/a (whatever that means) on his declaration of interests. I wounder if anybody at KCC checks these forms. For instance cllr Whittle has not signed hers and Paul Carter's is not as comprehensive as it could be, does he trade in Kent?

    And to quote JM'scomment above "Inter-country adoption is entirely legal as long as its done within the law, which as far as we can see, it is."

    Most things are legal if done within the law!

  25. Actually it was me who complained, not you. Please stop trying to take credit for everything.

  26. Chris Wells ( KCC Conservative Councillor ) Conspiracy ?

    you say “I would also add that CAFFCASS is a totally autonomous body associated with the Courts and not KCC, so I am afraid whatever conspiracy theory you are working on is looking a bit thin.”

    May be you would care to explain if CAFCASS is as independent as you say and has absolutely nothing to do with KCC as you state. Why did KCC chose to deny that Amanda Barden worked for Kent County Council Children’s services prior to working for Canterbury CAFCASS as a guardian ?

    How many more have previously worked for KCC before working for CAFCASS in Kent, as this doesn’t sound very independent at all ?


    “Interrogation of Oracle HR has revealed the system to be accurate as a record for a Mrs Amanda Jane Barden is still retained, contrary to what has been advised
    previously. This record shows that a Mrs Barden was employed by KCC as a Senior Practitioner within Children's Services and her leaving date was 5th November 2004. I can only apologise that you and other users of the whatdotheyknow website
    who have also asked for details of Mrs Barden's employment with KCC have been misinformed up until now.”

    Mrs Barden, Amanda Jane MAIDSTONE E/1008145 Registered Social Worker 18/08/2010

    Could this former KCC social worker be back working for KCC again now that she no longer works for CAFCASS ?

  27. A far bigger scandal are the conditions that child asylum seekers are kept in!

  28. Of course all corporate child abuse is appalling and needs completely uncovering.Trafficking of children generates huge sums of money.

    Asylum children are being trafficked into the country whilst the indigenous children of our country are also being trafficked in huge numbers( just that you rarely hear about it in the main stream media ) by the authorities/courts (forced adoption). Both practices are unacceptable and I don't believe for one second that all the councillors and MP's or Lords who are in the dark, because they have all been made fully aware of this corporate child abuse on countless occasions by many different sources.

    The Child abuse scandal is coming out into the open and they are clearly terrified otherwise why would Robert Green have been locked up for a year for daring to expose the abuse suffered by Hollie Greig a downs syndrome child ?

    Some conveniently scream conspiracy in my opinion because they would prefer to move the goal posts or back track rather than face up to the scale of the injustices being inflicted on our children by those in positions of power.

  29. We need someone to liberate us and implement democracy.

  30. Tony, I know the subject is a KCC matter but as a TDC councillor cllr Wells is also covered by the TDC code of conduct and blogging protocol.

    If you care to read, treating others with respect is one of the conditions.
    Looks like he has overstepped the TDC code.

  31. Dear Tony

    I recently added around 1000 words to your blog, in relation to the serious issue of KCC Childrens Services. You have chosen to concentrate on just 6, which you believe are personally insulting to you.

    I have already placed a qualified apology on your blog, which you appear to have not accepted.

    I will not waste anybody's time or taxpayers money on this matter, and acknowledge as an elected member I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public.

    If in this case you believe I have breached that code, then I am content to make formal apology for use of a word you find offensive in describing your behaviour, placing this as comment on your blog to ensure it reaches the same readership as the original comment.

    Yours sincerely

    Chris Wells

  32. Chris Wells, the word you used was not only offensive, it was also very insulting, childish and more to the point completely untrue.
    When will you learn that to win an arguement you do not have to make personal attacks.

  33. Having given Cllr. Chris Wells the opportunity to apologise, I'm sorry I don't accept that an apology should be littered with qualifications "You have chosen to concentrate on just 6, which you believe are personally insulting to you." (how else was I meant to take them)

    Chris Wells "I have already placed a qualified apology on your blog, which you appear to have not accepted. (an apology I suggest, would typically use one of these simple phrases "I'm sorry" "I regret" or "I apologise")

    I shall refer this to Kent Councils Standards Committee. I've no wish for Cllr Wells to dodge the issue of using insulting language, councillor or not is frankly irrelevant, using offensive and inaccurate terms is not acceptable.

    Convoluted argument doesn't normally feature in an apology (a written or spoken expression of one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another)

  34. Tony isn't a lickspittle and that was a bad choice of words by Chris. He's brought this up before, especially over the scrutiny aspect of this and I backed him on my first blog in a year last Summer on that.

    An inquiry would be a lot of money spent not to find out what caused the Ofsted report, which is in the public domain anyway, but to find someone to blame. Accepting that an inquiry isn't going to happen and instead looking to what can be done constructively to improve Children's Services is a better use of resources.

  35. James M., an inquiry would cost a penny or two but nothing like the extra £15 millions that KCC have had to spend in bringing expensive consultants and others to clear up the mess. This is a county council that pays top dollar for executives to get the best but seems to have made the wrong appointments in childrens services from 2008-2011. Not only have these execs been well paid but they have also left with large payoffs for their failures.
    So if an inquiry prevents this happening again then it would be money well spent.

  36. Why should anyone have to accept an inquiry isn't going to happen when clearly the whole of childrens services must be gone through with a fine tooth comb. And because KCC pays top dollar for consultants these should also be investigated along with the councillors. Families who have suffered at the hands of children services deserve to know the truth as do the public.

  37. May be instead of insulting people, Cllr Chris Wells with his KCC hat on, would care to answer this, seen as a Conservative led KCC hasn’t ?

    Haringey Baby P - 2008

    “Can you please confirm that is acceptable that Peter Gilroy could
    be allowed 'to write a piece for the Conservative Shadow Government' especially when Kent county council is Conservative

    Are not ceo staff supposed to be 'a' political in their duties?

    This letter shows a clear conflict of interest as well as bad taste
    in touting for additional or future work; whilst being on first
    name terms with Lord Laming could be considered some what

    Looks like the following was the only answer KCC were prepared to give which makes very interesting reading.

    “The Council has found three records meeting the scope of your request.

    1. In light of the Haringey/Baby P situation, Mr Gilroy wrote to Lord
    Laming on 15 November 2008 enclosing a copy of his booklet: "A Personal Perspective on the Future of Social Work and Social Care" and reminding him of his experience in Child Protection and offering his
    assistance. Copies of this booklet are available from our website

    2. Lord Laming replied on 29th November 2008 and a copy of his letter is attached.

    3. Mr Gilroy wrote again to Lord Laming on 11 December attaching a copy of an article he had written entitled "A Life in Social Work" - (copy also attached). The article was also published on the MJ (Municipal Journal)'s website and in an edited version in that week's MJ magazine. There has been no written reply to this letter but Peter was verbally invited to attend a meeting on 21 January 2009 arranged by Lord Laming for what he described as "key stakeholders" to discuss various topics related to safeguarding children.”