So – the report finds Haringey Council guilty – and then some. I have never seen such a damning and devastating criticism of an authority as this litany of failure – both systemic and personal, and at every level and more or less in every agency. But particularly singled out for special damnation – Haringey Council.
So – given all that, what an earth is Ed Balls doing commissioning more reports and waiting until next June before removing Haringey Children’s services from council administration? Yes more information may be necessary. Yes – Balls is right to put in John Coughlan to lead the department back to health. But we need children in Haringey who are at risk to be held safe in full special measures and only given back to Haringey itself as the department is changed, new management structures put in, and staff either re-trained, sacked or exonerated depending on their part and culpability.
When and as Haringey proves itself worthy of taking control of Children’s Services – then and only then – should they get the department back. They have to prove themselves first.
As to the resignations of George Meehan and Liz Santry – it’s a shame it took until they publicly had nowhere to go in the face of such extreme criticism before they finally acknowledged their responsibility.
And none of this sadly goes to the heart of the rotten culture in Haringey which is secretive, arrogant, rank-closing and abuses power. Lord knows I have been shouting this from rooftops for long enough. Now at least I have Ed Balls and the Government shouting the same thing with me!