Tory Bromley Councillors must apologise and get a grip.
Responding to Monday’s OFSTED report, Labour Group Leader Cllr Angela Wilkins said:
“This week Bromley Council’s Children’s Services were deemed “inadequate” by OFSTED. Last year Bromley’s Youth Offending Services were also heavily criticised by government inspectors.
Labour councillors have said before that it is time Bromley Council remember that exists to deliver services. It seems to me that the Tories running this council have taken their eye off the ball and services for residents are less important to them than saving money and buying more commercial properties.
We recognise that funding from central government has been cut, but the Tories here cannot blame lack of money for the failures in Children’s Services – the budget for Care Services was under-spent by £4.3m last year, and there is a whopping £26m sitting in the Investment Fund waiting to be spent buying more commercial properties.
Yet when the Director responsible for Care Services left last year, he wasn’t replaced in order to save money; instead, other staff were expected to take on his responsibilities on top of their own jobs.
OFSTED has made the council’s failures clear. Our children and our families are paying the price for this, as are Council staff, many of whom are working under pressure and without the support and training they need.
Bromley Tories must apologise.
But more importantly, they must get a grip on the council, re-think their priorities and put services first. Labour councillors are proposing a motion to full council on 4th July demanding just this. ”
Labour Group Motion to full council on Monday 4th July 2016
This council deeply regrets the inadequate levels of service it has provided to the Borough’s young people, most notably evidenced by last week’s damning OFSTED report on Bromley’s Children’s Services, and also by last year’s highly critical report on the Borough’s Youth Offending Team.
There is also considerable evidence of the council’s organisation being “stretched to breaking point” in a number of areas; sustained delivery of services in a number of areas is at risk as a consequence.
In the light of recent failings, and to prevent the recurrence of poor or inadequate services, this council therefore agrees the following:
- To apologise to the young people, families and staff whom it has failed (as identified in the reports mentioned above)
- To urge the Executive to guarantee that the necessary remedial actions identified in the OFSTED report on children’s services are delivered as quickly and effectively as possible
- To instruct the Chief Executive to carry out an urgent review of the Council to identify any further structural and managerial weaknesses and to report back with findings and recommendations that will ensure that the council functions effectively across all of its services in the future.
- To request the Leader and Executive to review their policies and budgets in order to meet their stated commitment to provision of quality frontline services, and to report their conclusions to the next full council.