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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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21 March (Part 2) - Pause for thought

Attending more Council meetings than most Councillors is a bit of a drag if I am honest and last Tuesday I really didn’t feel up to going to Cafer Munur’s Joint Children’s and Adult’s Services Scrutiny meeting. A quick glance at the Agenda was enough to convince me that the webcast would be good enough.

PauseThe first speaker was from an organisation called Pause which has partnered with Bexley Council and aims to reduce the number of children taken into care by offering wide ranging support to mothers. I’m all for that. Soon after Bonkers started I met up at least three times with a very nice lady whose son had been taken into Bexley’s dubious care.

Her husband was clearly a thoroughly bad lot who had among other things had notices and cards printed and distributed with his wife’s mobile number advertising her services as, what shall we say, a good time girl.

She reported it to the police who were as one has come to expect, absolutely useless, and all they did was report the matter to Bexley Council. Bexley Council promptly took the child away. I looked through the file of papers.

One of the reasons cited for the removal was that the lady’s house was spotless. Apparently normal people do not have tidy houses and it was a sign of poor parenting skills.

Bexley Council Social Workers gained the support of the Courts by lying outrageously to them. No one did anything about the errant husband.

Nothing will convince me that Bexley’s Social Services were at the time comprised of anyone other than despicable individuals.

What did the Director of Communications for Pause have to say?

There are 94 women in Bexley who have had two or more children removed and have none left in their care. Five of the very young ladies affected had since died.

26 of the 94 had had 82 children removed from their care, several of them more than five children each. Experience suggested that such mothers will go on to have seven or more children with intervals between pregnancies of under two years. The intervention of Social Services is thought in some cases to create more pregnancies which mothers attempt to keep secret from them.

85% of the women involved admit to experiencing domestic abuse, some of it as children, but the real figure is believed to be close to 100%. In Bexley half have issues with drugs and a third with alcohol. Some have mental health issues too.

A slide presentation had been given to Councillors before the meeting began but like so many on Bexley’s website, the two links provided are broken.

Chairman Munur asked what happens to mothers who refuse contraception. Ms. Tanner said it was always the woman’s choice.

Both Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Director Tiotto welcomed Pause to the borough. Rachel Bates is the Pause Manager for Bexley.


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