Someone has asked me what all the fuss is with children's services at Bexley council. Is there any chance you could sum it up for me? Would really appreciate it. Thanks.
• OFSTED Report rated Bexley ‘Inadequate’. One or two junior members of staff sacked. At least one took his case to an Industrial Tribunal and won compensation.
• A later inspection rated Bexley as ‘Needs improvement’. Will Tuckley filled the pages of the News Shopper to tell everyone how wonderful things were.
• Responsible cabinet member said that all was now well and walked away at the May 2014 election.
• Director of Children’s Services buzzed off to a lucrative new job on the Isle of Man.
• Local Government minister Eric Pickles issued Bexley council with an Improvement Notice in September 2014.
• Two children died neglected by Bexley council. There was a third but I have no details.
• The first was ignored by Bexley council throughout his life despite reports from doctors and teachers.
• He was murdered and his family is convinced that Bexley council connived with the police to find a mentally retarded individual to take the rap because if it was the mother who was responsible Bexley council would be even more culpable. Baby P all over again.
• Bexley council employed a recent Bexley Children’s Services employee to write the Serious Case Review. So no real criticism of anyone.
• The murdered boy’s family is currently engaged in seeking a Judicial Review.
• The current cabinet member for Children’s Services, Philip Read, refused to answer a question about the case at the last full council meeting. There is plenty to hide.
• Bexley is currently bottom of the performance achievement table in several areas among comparable councils.
• Naturally, good social workers are reluctant to work for a failed council. The current vacancy rate is 43%.
• Bexley council has taken its recruitment team to Ireland in a desperate attempt to find people who might risk their reputations.
• A senior OFSTED manager has been persuaded to step into the Director vacancy in Bexley. A senior political source has said that this is mainly to ensure good OFSTED reports in future.
• A senior staff source is of the opinion that the deputy director who has survived several years of child neglect and calamity does so because she is a life long friend of the leader of Bexley council.
For more inside information may I suggest asking a Bexley opposition councillor what went on at the closed meeting on 5th November? Perhaps UKIP councillor Lynn Smith would be a good place to start. An independent mind might be more willing to spill the beans.