Thursday, 13 November 2008
Sack Haringey Council
Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I frequently bemoan the lack of accountability in Barnet. You can sell land illegally, you can overspend £4 million on a bridge project, you can even flush £28 million down the pan on a high risk gamble with taxpayers money. Nobody is ever to blame. Nobody ever apologises for their actions.
Just what does it take for someone in the public sector to get the sack?
As Haringey residents have just discovered, even the tragic death of a small child in circumstances too horrible to think about are not deemed grounds for sackings or resignations.
Frustrated as we are about Barnet’s reckless investment policies that will most likely put up our council tax, at least nobody has died or suffered terrible injuries. Baby ‘P’ was not so lucky.
Haringey’s Director of Social Services Sharon Shoesmith has said “The child was killed by members of his own family and not by social services.” This was a little boy who had been visited 60 times by social workers and health visitors.
Sharon Shoesmith, you should hang your head in shame. You and your department are a total and utter disgrace.
But equally at fault are Haringey’s ruling councillors. Shoesmith has refused to resign from her £100,000 a year job, so why haven’t they sacked her?
Councillors are elected to serve the community and by allowing this woman to keep her job, they have let the community down. If the totally avoidable death of an innocent child is not sufficient to get councillors off their lazy fat backsides, then they should all be thrown out of office at the earliest opportunity. With a planned and concerted effort, a change of control could easily come about.
Of course, it won’t bring back Baby ‘P’, but it will send a clear message to the councillors that they failed in their basic duty of care to the public, and they must accordingly suffer the consequences.
Conservative MP Douglas Carswell has summed it up quite succinctly on his blog when he says: "You cannot have public services without accountability to the public. If those you elect are unable to hold those running public services to account, there is no point in democracy."