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Vulnerable Children: more councillor involvement at Essex County Council agreed

December 15, 2009 5:33 PM
Vulnerable child

An urgent wake-up call from Ofsted has led to the Liberal Democrats calling for more involvement in children's services

At a Full Council meeting of Essex County Council today there was unanimous support for a Liberal Democrat motion requesting that all county councillors should make the safeguarding of vulnerable children the highest priority.

The Council needed to demonstrate to the people of Essex that everything is being done to ensure that vulnerable children are appropriately safeguarded.

Liberal Democrat Leader at County Hall, Cllr Tom Smith-Hughes, said:

"There can be no higher priority on a council than looking after the most vulnerable. It is worrying that progress made in the last 12 months in response to concerns about procedures for safeguarding vulnerable children has been disappointingly slow.

"Some progress has been made, but it can be no comfort that the council has been rated by OFSTED as 'poorly performing' in children's services, particularly as regards safeguarding. This is an urgent wake-up call to the council, which it was clear at the Council meeting was recognised by the ruling Conservative administration.

"I was pleased that the council accepted the need for all councillors to be regularly informed of steps and progress being made, so that the public of Essex can have some faith that the major shortcomings identified are being rectified as a matter of urgency.