Inadequate safeguarding of children is "a grave disappointment"

August 6, 2010 7:49 PM
Vulnerable child

Safeguarding our most vulnerable children must be the highest priority

"The Judgement announced today by OFSTED that Essex County Council's rating for safeguarding children remains "inadequate" is a huge disappointment," said Cllr Theresa Higgins, Liberal Democrat spokesman at Essex County Council. "No amount of spin can disguise the fact that this is a damming judgement which is acutely embarrassing to the County Council."

"We, as the Official Opposition, have been warning the Tory controlled County Council that it is spending far too much time and money trying to boost its own image instead of concentrating on basic services. Safeguarding our most vulnerable children must be the highest priority; this inadequate rating is a very real concern to us."

"We warned of the consequences when the budget was cut in the past and the constant changes of Cabinet member responsibility have led to a failure of political leadership. They took their eye off the ball and a massive backlog of cases built up.

"We do recognise that some progress has been made, but clearly there is still a very long way to go as the judgement also says that the capacity to improve is only 'adequate'. The key recommendations must be implemented immediately and we look for significant improvement in the next six months; our vulnerable children deserve better," concluded Cllr Higgins.