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Bonkers Blog March 2013

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20 March - Jobs for the boys - and girls

Those who don’t accept Bexley council’s propaganda at face value will know that they messed up in a fairly big way when it came to safeguarding children in care. Five months ago their dirty washing was aired in public at a Cabinet meeting, if you can call seven ordinary Bexley folk and the three coppers sent to guard them as ‘the public’. For what it is worth the council’s contrition did seem sincere but maybe that is just me being gullible again.

Dame Moira GibbThe decision was to bring in an outside consultant - OFSTED demanded it; but not any old consultant of course: one of their mates with the same mindset; the former Chief Executive of Camden Council, Dame Moira Gibb. Bexley said they would spend £1.1 million on funding her. Naturally, as a bureaucrat, she set up a committee. Only a tiny one (†), to keep things efficient and not too expensive.

How is the Dame getting on? Quite well in one respect, she picks up a little over five thousand every time she puts in an appearance but maybe not so well in others.

Bexley council has helpfully set up a web page to inform residents of progress. It may be viewed here and says almost nothing. Bexley’s ideas to tackle their problem were first published in August 2012. The document (PDF) looks a little neglected, still being in draft form eight months later.

What the grand Dame reports to OFSTED to conform with their requirements (see below) does not seem to be available for public viewing. But at least we are beginning to get some idea of how much she charges. (††)

On the other hand, with such luminaries as Maureen Holkham, Nick Hollier and Linda Tottman on board her committee I do have some sympathy with Dame Moira. Maybe she earns her keep. Rarely can a bigger collection of expensive dead wood have assembled around one Bexley table.

Improvement notice
† If you didn’t check the link; the Committee is comprised of 22 officials and an observer.
†† From the lists of expenditure over £500.


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