Monday, 1 December 2008

Balls has been decisive in Haringey but he shouldn't hesitate to use his full powers

The decision by the longstanding Haringey council leader George Meehan and the Member for Children and Young People to resign - after a highly critical Ofsted report on the council's children's services and their handling of the Baby P case - is welcome, as is the sacking of the officials in charge. It is to be hoped that the Government moves quickly to bring in new management from outside to give the council's children's services a long overdue shake-up.
UPDATE: Ed Balls's very full statement is here. He has appointed some respected leadership to the officer posts on a temporary basis, with the excellent Graham Badman from Kent to chair the local safeguarding board. But I hope that Balls seriously considers using his statutory powers to require the Council to enter into a contractual arrangement with an external provider for the delivery of Haringey's children’s services. Those powers were used to good effect in Labour's first term (though not as strongly as they should have been in Haringey after councillors balked at their use) and they should be used where necessary again.

No comments: