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Bonkers Blog March 2014

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8 March (Part 1) - Superwoman meets Bexley’s Supreme Controller

Why is having a Head of Professional Standards and Quality Assurance with an MBE looking after Bexley’s lamentable children’s services suddenly so important to Bexley council? Cabinet member Katie Perrior couldn’t resist bragging about it at this week’s council meeting either.

I’ve been a cynic about MBEs ever since I was instructed to name a worthy recipient of a gong after initially saying I had no one on my staff who merited one. I decided to do a bit of research on this MBE holder but became sidetracked.

I found an MBE holder who is the Development Manager at a Safeguarding Children’s Board and advisor to MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) for the Ministry of Justice. A Justice of the Peace too.

She holds positions at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Local Government Association and been a non-executive director of an NHS Care Trust. Then the research led me closer to home.

She has been a Bexley school governor, on the board of a nearby children’s hospice, is a recipient of a Bexley Civic Award, worked for Bexley Voluntary Services and has lived in Welling for a very long time. She even worked for Bexley council for a while. But she isn’t Barbara Travanion, chair of Bexley’s Safeguarding Children’s Board or Lucie Heyes MBE the quality Assurance Manager for Children’s Services taken on by Bexley council to rescue their failed children’s services.

You can probably discover her name by Googling some of the employing organisations to find the common factor. I started out with little more than the initials MBE, Bexley and ‘children’s services’ to go on.

I’ve been in contact with a man who might know a little more. He told me something interesting, though unfortunately I have drawn a total blank on the subject on the web. I was told that the lady was passed by Conservative Central Office as suitable MP material. How would she ever find the time?

O'NeillMaybe she felt the same because I have no evidence that the matter was ever taken any further; instead, if my contact is correct, she set her sights a little lower by applying to become a councillor in Bexley in May 2014.

That required passing a selection process too and that of course would be chaired by you know who, Bexley’s very own dictator. What happened? Well according to my informant she was rejected in favour of a councillor’s wife.

As UKIP has noted, choosing spouses to be councillors is a good way of ensuring total loyalty to ‘she who must be obeyed’.

If anyone knows where I can see a copy of David Cameron’s 2009 approved list I would be most grateful.


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