Welsh Government plans to step in over Pembrokeshire County Council's continued child safeguarding failures

The Welsh Government is again threatening to step in and take over child safeguarding duties at Pembrokeshire County Council following yet more stinging criticism of the authority's performance.

In a very strongly worded written statement and a letter to council leader Jamie Adams, Welsh Government ministers have outlined a series of major concerns about the way the council carries out child safeguarding arrangements.

The letter from Education Minister Leighton Andrews and Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services Gwenda Thomas runs to six pages and details major areas of concern.

It says: "The Pembrokeshire Ministerial Board [the body the Welsh Government put in place following previous child safeguarding failures] inform us that progress in improving child safeguarding is still worryingly slow.

"The indications are that senior officers in the authority do not accept the need to change the authority's approach to safeguarding.

"On occasions, chief officers appear either not to know what is happening in the authority's schools or do know but then fail to disclose information appropriately (to the PMB or other officers or council members) or take appropriate action.

"On May 27th the PMB advised the Welsh Ministers that in its view senior officers in the authority do not see the need for change in the culture and modes of operation which it has always followed. on the contrary it wishes to see them preserved."

The letter adds: "The PMB reports that any overt co-operation by senior officers is generally little more than window dressing. Actions tend to be reactive and are only taken under prompts from the PMB, the inspectorates or the Welsh Government.

"There also remains within the authority a culture where elected members seem unable to submit officers to proper scrutiny and challenge and officers and frontline staff are afraid to disclose concerns."

It adds: "In light of all this, we wonder what confidence you, or for that matter, we, can have in your senior officers."

The ministers have asked for a response from Cllr Adams by 5pm on June 22nd.

They add: "We must be satisfied that children in Pembrokeshire are safe, and will continue to be safe after the PMB has left."

Comments (6)

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3:45pm Tue 12 Jun 12

neil p says...

"senior officers do not accept the need to change"

Easy, sack them ! and re-employ others from outside of the PCC sphere, putting in structured and proper training in conjunction with the WG. Not that I trust them to do anything well either, however something must be better than nothing.
"senior officers do not accept the need to change" Easy, sack them ! and re-employ others from outside of the PCC sphere, putting in structured and proper training in conjunction with the WG. Not that I trust them to do anything well either, however something must be better than nothing. neil p

10:08pm Tue 12 Jun 12

Welshman23 says...

Neil P spot on get ride of the old guard and get in fresh faces these councillors earn a lot of money. Sack the lot.
Neil P spot on get ride of the old guard and get in fresh faces these councillors earn a lot of money. Sack the lot. Welshman23

7:31pm Wed 13 Jun 12

neil p says...

welshman23:

Unfortunately because of the unions backing of the public sector staff, it would be almost impossible to sack them, even though they are incompetent at their jobs. They will probably just "shuffle the stacked deck"
welshman23: Unfortunately because of the unions backing of the public sector staff, it would be almost impossible to sack them, even though they are incompetent at their jobs. They will probably just "shuffle the stacked deck" neil p

7:42pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Welshman23 says...

Have you seen the BBC Wales news on the Councillor Adams has backed the leaders another one in the pocket of the council, he does get highly paid to bow to his bosses he says he is independant not so sure. But at least the evidence has been passed to the police who I hope will arrest the guilty and put them in a padded cell for the evening they then may see how degrading this practice is and co operate with the cover up oops sorry investigation.
Have you seen the BBC Wales news on the Councillor Adams has backed the leaders another one in the pocket of the council, he does get highly paid to bow to his bosses he says he is independant not so sure. But at least the evidence has been passed to the police who I hope will arrest the guilty and put them in a padded cell for the evening they then may see how degrading this practice is and co operate with the cover up oops sorry investigation. Welshman23

9:14pm Thu 14 Jun 12

Holstein says...

In the real world they would be out on their ears a long time ago. However early retirement on a fat pension is probably waiting.
In the real world they would be out on their ears a long time ago. However early retirement on a fat pension is probably waiting. Holstein

9:26am Sat 16 Jun 12

Tttoommy says...

Holstein wrote:
In the real world they would be out on their ears a long time ago. However early retirement on a fat pension is probably waiting.
don't forget we're talking about people paid at the lower end of the council wage scales - my theory is that the less you're paid by the council the more benefit/help/care you give to the local community - you're also the scapegoat if something goes wrong - those that float to the top and we all know what floats ..... they IF they are caught will have the option to resign or retire because of sickness having been paid a ruddy fortune and all they need to get that pile of cash? sign a gagging order so they'll never blab and might I suggest be a member of the council masons "Lodge"
[quote][p][bold]Holstein[/bold] wrote: In the real world they would be out on their ears a long time ago. However early retirement on a fat pension is probably waiting.[/p][/quote]don't forget we're talking about people paid at the lower end of the council wage scales - my theory is that the less you're paid by the council the more benefit/help/care you give to the local community - you're also the scapegoat if something goes wrong - those that float to the top and we all know what floats ..... they IF they are caught will have the option to resign or retire because of sickness having been paid a ruddy fortune and all they need to get that pile of cash? sign a gagging order so they'll never blab and might I suggest be a member of the council masons "Lodge" Tttoommy

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