Councillor Jane Lock, Leader of the Opposition at Somerset County Council commented today on a report released today by Ofsted which has once again branded children’s services run by Somerset County Council ‘inadequate.’
Children’s Services at Somerset County Council has been deemed inadequate since June 2013. The Conservative Leadership at County Hall has failed to improve standards to an adequate leave since the investigation began and the Government has now called in Essex County Council to help them improve standards.
The report criticizes “oversight, scrutiny and challenge from corporate leaders including the Somerset’s Children’s Trust and Scrutiny panel have not been sufficiently robust.”
Commenting, Jane Lock said:
“John Osman and Frances Nicholson have overseen the demise of the Children’s Services at Somerset County Council between them for the past six years. They can no longer be trusted to keep our children safe.”
“We are aware of the terrible failings, and it is a tragedy that so much time has been lost since the last inspection and this one is even worse. We welcome the fact that the Government is sending in advisors and the very recent appointment of Julian Wooster, the new Director of Children’s Services.”
“We fear that the Director of Children Services will not get the whole hearted leadership, direction and support of Cllr Osman, and other senior members of the Tory Cabinet. The Conservative Leadership has been stretched further following David Huxtable’s fall from grace, leaving the Resources Portfolio to be run by the Council Leader. This now leaves Osman trying to cover three portfolios”
“I call upon John Osman & Frances Nicholson to resign and to hand over power to a cross party crisis cabinet. We need to get all Councillors involved in helping Julian Wooster and his team to take forward plans shaped around the inadequate areas found by Ofsted – leadership, quality, work force, early help and communications.”