A Reality Check For Children’s Services

Brazil September.jpg

As you can see from the above report in the latest edition of Private Eye , children’s services troubleshooting troubadour and serial cheque collector Eleanor Brazil has now rocked up in Croydon.

Of course we remember Ms Brazil as the woman who bailed out of Wirral earlier in the year ,raising her hands in the air , like she just don’t care and claiming to be ‘shocked and appalled’ by the ‘shoddy’ treatment of  Julia Hassall ,Wirral Council’s chosen scapegoat for a series of failures in Children’s Services. Unfortunately Ms Brazil failed to enlighten us further on what she meant by ‘significant corporate issues’ which she felt were hindering progress on the ‘improvement journey’  (groan).

Portrait of A Gobshite

So we’ll fill in the blanks – Children’s Services still leave a lot to be desired and those controlling the show won’t face up to reality. This is evidenced by a couple of  council meetings held this week . Firstly at the Audit & Management Risk Committee Wirral Council ‘s external auditors Grant Thornton presented their annual findings and noted the risk to Wirral Council in the Executive Summary of the report.

In September 2016 the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and
Skills (Ofsted) issued its report on the inspection of the Council’s services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. The overall judgement was that children’s services were rated as inadequate. The inspection found widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children who need help and protection.
We recognise that the Council has made progress to improve Children’s services and the Improvement plan actions are designed to achieve the required service
improvements. However, recent Ofsted monitoring visits confirm that progress in
some areas has not yet met expectations and the Council acknowledge that it will take some time to implement all the actions that should deliver the required service improvement.

Grant Thornton Audit Findings

Subsequently there were gallant attempts from new Director of Children’s Services, Deborah Gornik, and her Deputy, Simone White , to steady the sinking ship at last night’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Whilst they hinted that Ofsted may be pleased with progress in some areas it is clear there are still some choppy waters to navigate on the ‘improvement journey’. Incidentally, we understand that Ms White is a poacher turned gamekeeper turned poacher as a former employee of both Wirral Council and Ofsted and now second in command back at Wirral Council.

But Deborah and Simone should fear not ! – help is at hand as councillors have agreed to undertake a series of ‘Reality Check’ visits to enable them to engage directly with frontline staff in Children’s Services. Hurrah !  – it’s just a shame the arrangement isn’t reciprocal and frontline staff  get to ‘reality check’ councillors and find out whether their failure to properly scrutinize Children’s Services, being forever in denial, turning a visually impaired eye to problems and being more concerned about reputation management than the safeguarding of children contributed to frontline staff having OFSTED inspectors crawling all over them. Could this be the ‘significant corporate issues’ to which Ms Brazil referred to?

Talking of a reality check we note that we’re still awaiting the publication of the Serious Case Review report concerned with the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) case that we commented on earlier this year . As we reported in our  Basket Case Review article :

I suppose we have to wait for the publication of the Serious Case Review in the summer before we can FULLY judge the failings of Wirral Council and other statutory agencies involved in the appalling Rajenthiram brother’s depraved exploitation of our most vulnerable.

A quick look out of the window will tells us that summer has long since passed – so where are the findings of the Serious Case Review ? However we do note there was an exempt item at last night’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee – could the Serious Case Review report have been discussed then? Or is that a reality check too far for now?

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “A Reality Check For Children’s Services

  1. Does anything function properly in this hapless Council?
    That is apart from my Council Tax collection (For which I now know 10% goes in debt repayment) and, no doubt, the monthly salary cheques of the Council panjandrums.

  2. In Wirral Council’s INADEQUATE Children’s Services Ofsted Review –

    The Department for Education DID NOT ‘immediately send in trouble-shooting commissioner Eleanor Brazil’.

    In fact, the Department for Education DID NOT SEND HER AT ALL to chair Wirral’s Children’s Services Improvement Board. Contrary to the impression created in Wirral.

    • G’day Doc

      Thank God that you are still on their case.

      I presume she was just another friendly there to pick up a nice cheque for carefully wording a “REPORT”.

      Ooroo

      James

      In the Wirral “Funny” Bizz £2,000,000.00 knock off case that “Highbrow” and I reported they paid Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton £50,000.00 + as an independent ha ha ha ha examiner to “REPORT” and then ignored it and hid it and the criminal consequences.

      They are pure crud and dross Doc.

      X

      • Hello James

        Julia Hassall invited Eleanor Brazil to chair the Children’s Services ‘Improvement Board’, nothing to do with a Government intervention. It would appear that Wirral Council can claim that Government Commissioners were not brought in, because Wirral Council ‘took action’ and brought in a specialist. Self-help…a bit similar to self-serve in WBC.

        It smacks of the similar situation when Frank Field conned Eric Pickles into not bringing in Government Administration when the Local Government Association ‘Improvement Board’ was established, and we all know what a farce that was…but WBC self-help…WBC self-serve…and no Government Commissioners.

        In my opinion, any credible outsider with a reputation they wish to protect or enhance nationally wouldn’t touch Wirral Council and its corporate cancer. It is so endemic and corrosive the Government is prepared to stand back let Wirral Council implode and self-destruct. Which it will do shortly.

        But not until a vast amount of Council money has passed through the revolving door continually jammed by anonymous consultants, paid pretty much whatever they ask for, as there is no in-house corporate management or discipline, no real strategy for anything, no financial control, no skills, no real experience, little knowledge, or expertise. This is compensated for by illusion and delusion in vast quantities.

        If Wirral Council had the wherewithal to sort out the diabolical state the Council is in at the moment, they would never have allowed it to develop in this way in the first place.

        Just sayin’.

  3. Guess what? Wirral Council are going to be looking for investment to turn Bikenhead Town Hall into a Crack House Hotel. (Sorry ‘Boutique’ Hotel) Ha ha, ha ha

    How much did it cost to get the bloke to come up with this suggestion..?

    • Lol, Interested. A boutique hotel!

      The Council that wanted to cover Hamilton Square in concrete and tarmac and divert 3 lanes of heavy, polluting, articulated wagons past the front of “protected” Birkenhead Town Hall only for its own planners to give it the heave-ho … has had a “v i s i o n”.

      • I know lots of the NW town halls from my last job. Birkenheads is a disgrace, an abandoned and dilapidated wreck which no one can be bothered with. Bolton, Stockport and others, their town halls are at the centre of a lively bustling town, used by one and all for one stop shops, meetings of all kinds from NA to the council. Busy public buildings, they are at the heart of town, something which they were meant to be. Maybe it just proves that Birkenhead has had a stroke and several heart attacks. Hamilton Square is such a sad place.

    • Yes I am actually replying to my own comment…. ha ha… with the good old…..

      BOOMERANG….

      ‘We have given them almost six years to own up and say it was all wrong, they’ve lied, cheated, hidden stuff, obfuscated and told bare faced lies.’

      Aussie Rules…ok!

      • …. which actually means the above quote is by the Aussie on the Wirral Biz/Council scandal.. ok…

  4. no sign of change anytime soon money being spent on expensive consultants once again with very little output; we also hear that new appointments are in the pipeline so surely this will turn them around with very little change from £28m…… shoot me now and get it in special measures before it’s too late

  5. G’day Leaks

    Why have I been banging on about the Wirral “Funny” Bizz £2,000,000.00 knock off for six years?

    Because they lied to me over and over again, they carried out criminal activities, Lockwood Engineering, they hid reports but most all they

    LIED

    then spent £200,000.00+ defending their

    LIES.

    It wasn’t their money according to that Super Duper Director AdderleyDadderleyDooLally and his little peroxided dogsbody.

    She is not exclusively his dogsbody by the way.

    Who does business this way and clients let them get away with it?

    Ooroo

    James

    A wet Friday and “Philly Liar” is still a LIAR, ECCA.

    SWALK L XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

  6. A report in the Wirral Globe that yet another Head of Children`s Services has been appointed.
    One can only speculate how long he – it is a male from Knowsley Council- will last in the no doubt lavishly rewarded post before leaving with an equally lavish pay-off.

    • Just a thought.
      Where does this new appointment leave Deborah Gornik, the “new Director of children`s Services” referred to in your main article.
      Hopefully not another lavish pay-off.!

  7. Pingback: Old Boyce Network | Wirralleaks

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