Lib Dems Call for Public Enquiry
The tragic death of Baby P has saddened and angered people across the country. To learn the full lessons of this tragedy, we need a public inquiry.
Leicester South Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Parmjit Singh Gill and the Leicester Lib Dems are asking you to lobby your present Labour MP's to support one. You can easily send a message to your MP via www.writetothem.com. (The site will also tell you who they are, if you don't know.) Parmjit Singh Gill said, "It has been obvious from the start of this Government overhaul that there would be elements of deficiencies either in education or in social care and deficiencies equals danger, especially for the most vulnerable be they children or adults."
To his credit (and - somewhat a surprise!), the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, took the right immediate steps after the convictions, ordering an urgent investigation and ensuring there were changes at the top of Haringey Council.
But there are many wider issues that Baby P's death has raised. Issues such as what use is a desk research inspection that awards Haringey three stars - but has no knowledge of what is really going on in a children's department? Is our inspection approach the right one? Is the emphasis on following procedures and ticking boxes really a good regime to hold children safe? How has the merger of education and social services at a local level been working? Where health services have been outsourced, has there been a breakdown of accountability?
These issues are ones that matter across the country - albeit in slightly different forms in England , Scotland and Wales . And that's why we all need a public inquiry to get to the bottom of them.
So far 39 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM - a sort of Parliamentary petition) calling for one. You can check to see if your MP has signed at http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37045&SESSION=899 and if not - please do contact them asking them to add their signature.
Cllr. Hussein Suleman, the Leicester Lib Dem Groups spokesperson on Education said, "It was a ridiculous decision in the first place to rid social services and even more so to merge the children's sector into one with Education. I say ridiculous because we all new that we would be asking a Director to do two jobs ! One for social care and the other for education but rolled into one." He went on to say how important that the coming Christmas break doesn't mean this issue just slips off the agenda. And important too that we show that the political system can take people's angers and concerns - and channel them!