Opposition leader disappointed after cabinet member refuses to resign

Brendan Glynane
Brendan Glynane

County council cabinet member responsible for child protection Andrew Grant has refused to resign after a devastating Ofsted report into child protection in Northamptonshire.

A motion put before full council by Cllr Brendan Glynane after Ofsted judged Northamptonshire County Council as inadequate in all four categories, was defeated by the Conservative majority.

The inspection report identified that children and young people are not effectively protected from harm.

Inspectors also said they saw a number of cases where children had experienced significant harm, and remained at risk of further harm.

“There is a legacy of children and young people who have been exposed to chronic, and periodically acute, harmful experiences of which some are unlikely to have either been assessed or addressed,” the report states.

“Senior leaders and elected members have not focussed sufficiently on ensuring the quality of services is effective.”

The county council’s own report further identified that children who go missing from home or care and those affected by domestic violence are not adequately helped or kept safe, and that the out of hours response is inadequate for children and families needing urgent help, and young people are being kept overnight in police custody instead of safe alternative arrangements.

Cllr Glynane said: “I am very disappointed that the cabinet member responsible has refused to resign, and that his Conservative colleagues have closed ranks to protect him.

“The failure to keep children at risk of harm safe is unforgiveable.

“The responsibility in law for child protection lies with the cabinet member – he should have done the decent thing and resigned.

“How are the public supposed to have faith in him fixing the deep catalogue of shocking failures?

“I sincerely hope that in the days ahead he will reflect on the danger that children have been left in on his watch and reconsider this decision.”

“What is really important now is that we move quickly to set up a cross-party action group to fix this broken system and keep vulnerable children safe.”