It’s no great secret that Bexley council has made one almighty mess of child
protection. Children in hospital with dozens of injuries, another left
dying of rickets; reports from doctors and teachers ignored or lost or put on
one side because it was the Christmas party season. No one at the top sacked of course
and Serious Case Reviews written by carefully selected friends. It’s no wonder Bexley
council can’t keep its social workers. Worst statistics in London for vacancies and
the word has spread to the extent that Bexley has to go to Ireland to see if they
can find anyone willing to risk their reputation here.
Having read quite widely of the failures of social workers across the UK and how parents have sought refuge in Ireland because of the inhumane treatment meted out in this country I believe it may be a good idea to recruit the Irish, but I think they will be in for a shock if they are persuaded to come here.
With so many children dying under their noses some social workers are interested in nothing but protecting their backsides and families are being wrecked as a result.
Every time I venture into Thamesmead I look up the address on a map, make my way there and then find I cannot get to the right front door because of an impenetrable maze of drab and depressing overhead walkways. Which is why I was late for an appointment there last week.
Once through the front door everything was different. Clean, tidy and well decorated. Do not judge the inside from its exterior.
The lady of the house had had her only child snatched by Bexley council and was distraught. All she had left were photographs of a happy smiling child.
The mother showed me evidence of her abuse by the father of her child (who has gone) amongst which was a file of papers detailing harassment on a massive scale. The poor woman and some of her associates had been subjected to the most appalling tirades and assaults on their morals couched in the most appalling language you can imagine.
A few days ago around 25 policeman descended on a nearby address because a man was harassing someone but that was just across the borough border. So what did Bexley police do when presented with a file of evidence by an intelligent and articulate young woman? Nothing!
Well not quite nothing, they passed her report to Bexley council who took themselves to Thamesmead, made snide comments about the state of the house and… well I can’t go on for fear of identifying the victim, but it is all disgusting stuff believe me.
Suffice to say that the usual Bexley suspects are alleged to have lied in court and another child has been left without its mother and its generous selection of favourite toys that remain in the house as its memorial.
Bexley council has gone into lock down mode and refuses to release any documents that might justify its decision. I wouldn’t expect any compassion from cabinet member Philip Read but I wonder if scrutiny chairman James Hunt knows what goes on on his patch? Does his scrutiny role extend beyond chairing a meeting at £2,200 a throw or does he sometimes work for his money?
When I am persuaded to visit readers in their homes I do so with some trepidation; the fact is that some people may not be looking at their problem rationally and I begin to wish I wasn’t there. In this case I planned a meeting in a public place but there was too much evidence to see to make that practical. Fortunately all my fears proved to be unfounded.
I have made some suggestions on where we can go next with this case and if anyone out there has any ideas they would be most welcome. What is probably needed is a good barrister but where do you get one of those without money?
There are some very stony hearts at Bexley council.