I’ve just read an article by Haringey Liberal Democrat leader Richard Wilson, which details the many failings of Labour-run Haringey Council over the last month. Unfortunately the failings are all to familiar – they’ve been at this for the best part of 40 years.
The article is a must read for all local residents – who deserve much better!
Full link here: http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-haringey-a-council-in-crisis-33896.html
What are your comments on two published court cases involving Haringey Council? Do we have a fundamental failure of leadership of children’s services, from Leader Claire Kober, Cabinet Member Dilek Dogus and Director Libby Blake, that places Haringey’s children at risk?
One refers to the actions of Haringey’s Head of Service, Sylvia Chew, as follows:
“It is inconceivable that a formal section 47 enquiry decision would be taken in such a casual manner and without being recorded contemporaneously” and
“she concluded that the concerns reached the level 4 threshold since parental responses were “erratic, over critical or lacking warmth” although the document she was referring to as providing her with this guidance was significantly different in its wording in stating that the relevant indicator was “parents inconsistent, highly critical or apathetic towards children”, of which responses there was no fact-based evidence.”
“Ms Chew again misquoted from the primary guidance she was relying on.”
Here is the link to the court judgement  EWHC 416 (Admin):
The second case involves an appeal against the dismissal of frontline social workers by Haringey Council.
“During a comfort break, Councillor Dogus told Mr Dodds that she was upset and could not make a decision that the case was not proven. She said that she was going to speak to the leader of the Council (Councillor Kober) to get advice. She apparently did so and on her return she told Mr Dodds that she had discussed the case with Councillor Kober and that Councillor Kober had agreed that she could not make a decision that did not involve the dismissal of Mrs Christou.”
“The finding, therefore, is not that Councillor Kober placed any pressure on Councillor Dogus, but that for whatever reason on 15 March (some nine days before the final decision to dismiss was taken) Councillor Dogus felt under pressure to reach a decision against Mrs Christou.”
According to the Kingston Guardian the current Haringey Director of Children’s Services, Libby Blake, has defended Sylvia Chew:
“Nick Whitfield [Kingston Council’s director of children’s services] has spoken to the director of Haringey and was told Sylvia Chew was definitely part of the fixing of Haringey and bringing it forward after Baby P.”
What does our MP have to say?
In Ireland they have the ‘Protections for Persons Reporting Abuse Act 1998’:
This makes is a criminal offence to knowingly make a false statement that a child is being abused or neglected. This is punishable by a fine of up to £1500 or 12 months in prison.
If this offence was on the English statute books then this kind of nonsense would stop very quickly.