The Conservatives on Suffolk County Council have been patting themselves on the back for their role in looking after children in care despite revelations that there have been widespread failings over the last four years at a council-run children’s home.
At the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday Conservatives endorsed their Corporate Parenting Board’s annual report which said the council were the ‘champions for the voice of children in care and care leavers, acting ‘as if they are our child’’ – this is despite another Ofsted report into an unnamed children’s home which stated that children do not feel safe.
The report went on to say that ‘children are not safeguarded effectively.’
During an exchange with Labour’s spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services, Cllr Jack Abbott, his Conservative counterpart Cllr Gordon Jones, once again failed to take the opportunity to apologise to the children in the home, pouring scorn on the idea that he is treating these children as if they were his own.
Cllr Jones also confirmed he has not been into the home since the report was released a fortnight ago.
Cllr Abbott described the report as ‘shameless’ and questioned whether the Tories had any genuine desire to protect the most vulnerable children in Suffolk.
“What I find most difficult is the complete lack of empathy. There was a complete absence of compassion and no real determination to provide a safe and happy home for these children.
“You have to wonder whether they’ve forgotten about why they even became Councillors in the first place.
“Civic duty is not about blindly backing regurgitated, self-congratulatory corporate reports, it is about looking after the residents of Suffolk, especially the most vulnerable in our society.
“I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if I was one of those children and I read this Cabinet report. This is not how we would treat our own children, we need politicians to stand up, take control, and accept responsibility for looking after our children properly.”