Now that we’ve had time to fully absorb Ofsted’s less than flattering inspection report of Wirral’s Children’s Services we thought we’d wade in with our thoughts.
The horrorshow of a report speaks for itself :
So having last week made our position on the latest Wirral Council car crash clear we’d particularly like to concentrate on the debris .
Inevitably Frank Field has melodramatically (if belatedly) entered the fray saying that the report is “simply devastating” . However for a man who in the past has been quick to condemn he’s treating those responsible for the manifest failings in the report with kid gloves (no pun intended).
“Now is not the time for scapegoating” he magisterially declares taking time out from calling for public accountability and monstering panto villains like former BHS boss “Sir” Philip Green. Which is a bit of a surprise from someone who makes such a public show of his deep concern about Wirral’s kiddiewinks. Although it’s perhaps not so surprising when you consider that one of the main people who should be driven into the desert is People Overview and Scrutiny Committee chair and long-time Frankenfield acolyte Cllr Moira “Matron” McLaughlin , who having failed spectacularly when she steered a totally out of control adult social services department has been given the opportunity to fall asleep at the wheel again and fail to ensure the proper scrutiny of children’s services under the stewardship of Labour cabinet lead Cllr Tony Smith . That’s quite a track record – it can only be a matter of time before she’s awarded an OBE.
But then what constantly perplexes us at Leaky Towers is that the people who are responsible for Council failures are given the responsibility to clear it up. We are not re-assured by the fact that Wirral Council Chief Executive Eric “Feeble” Robinson has informed us that will be holding Head of Children’s Services Julia Hassall’s hand whilst they clear up a mess partially of their own making. Stressed Eric described the Ofsted report as “painful” – but then we’re sure that the near £300,000 per annum of public money that Eric and Julia earn between them must go some way to easing that pain.
Has anyone noticed that Clare Fish the Strategic Director for Families & Wellbeing has been conspicuous by her absence from the public eye?. Whilst we always considered Fish to be out of her depth we wouldn’t like to think that this particular Super Duper Director has become yet another big fish who’s been let off the hook and been rewarded for their failure.
However it’s not all bad news as we’re particularly gratified, alongside a former Wirral Council head of safeguarding, that the current incumbent of the post – simpering Simon Garner – has been rumbled.
And finally with reference to the Ofsted report we think that whoever thought up the acronym MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) needs to be put out of their misery.