Morning all. Am getting ready to live tweet the @HfdsCouncil Extraordinary General Meeting, starting at 10am, following the judgment of Mr Justice Keehan in a case where the council has apologised for comprehensively failing a family... #herefordEGM
..., and, amongst other appalling social work/management failures, a child's life support was withdrawn thanks to wrong legal advice + a DCS who chose to exercise shared parental resp to give permission for the child to die before her mother could reach the hospital #herefordEGM
Current set up - three screens needed! #herefordEGM
Right. One minute to go. Very different sitting here infront of a screen from actually attending the last EGM at Shire Hall here Hereford, where the atmosphere was thick with outrage #herefordEGM
Right. We're on. #herefordEGM A LOT of faces on my laptop screen youtube live stream.
The chair Sebastian Bowen is checking every councillor can see and hear the livestream #herefordEGM
Info - Herefordshire is a Conservative council, leader is Jonathan Lester, who has been leader since 9 March 2018 - just need to check if he became leader after or before first Keehan S20 judgment, published 2018. #herefordEGM
Chair: there will be an official recording of the meeting to be put on the public record #herefordEGM
Chair: at this meeting, I recognise the strength of concern from members about this very distressing matter - if members go over their time for speeches I will allow some leeway #herefordEGM
I would like to know if the officers criticised in the judgment are still in post. One is Dir of Ops Gill Cox, and the solicitor who gave wrong advice on whether the DCS could give permission for the child's life support to be switched off regardless of mother's view #herefordEGM
Reminder that anonymity of the children and families must be strictly preserved - 'failure to do so might result in contempt of court'. #herefordEGM
Interesting - also a reminder that the meeting is not happening to look at the individual action of particular staff, but to receive a report. So who holds the officers to account? #herefordEGM
Chair - questions from members of the public. The responses have already been published (look at council link to papers) - so this is for supplementary question #herefordEGM
Anon question - who will be undertaking the independent review - (there's more)? Cabinet member children and families Cllr Norman: Resp of the DfE and still being worked through who will undertake the review - written answer to follow #herefordEGM
Anon question "Incorrect records were established as fact with doctors - have these been corrrected?? Cllr Norman - her understanding is that incorrect records have been corrected - written answer to follow #herefordEGM
Anon question - professionals were given false information by a social worker and foster carer - have these been corrected?: Norman; she is going to check #herefordEGM
Anon question "Your legal dept has been condemned and foster carers also criticised - what training is planned for foster carers and legal team?' Norman: again, she would prefer this to be a written reply - me: how is this public accountability? #herefordEGM
Another anon question - another Norman "this will be a written answer" - me - this is already appalling - seriously?! Another anon question, another Norman answer that it will be a written reply. What is the point of a public EGM if this shuffle off is the result? #herefordEGM
Right, that is a good indication, in this first Councillor's answer, that there will be no public accountability. She had *plenty* of time to research those answers, they were submitted in advance. #herefordEGM
Leader of the council Sebastian Lester is reading out one of the most damning paragraphs of the judgment #herefordEGM
Lester: I repeat my apologies to the families and children involved. This is not the first time the council has been here - I have read the minutes of the meeting from Jan 2019 - a member raised the importance of moving away from the blame culture to one where people #herefordEGM
..felt empowered. So how will our response be different this time? Clearly there have been failings in leadership. We have a new chief executive. Other changes in leadership and management are being considered - need to do it legally, so can't say much #herefordEGM
(am paraphrasing) - A new person called 'Cath' has been appointed to turn around children's services; me - does that mean Chris Baird has gone? #herefordEGM
It's clear that all the managmenet and scrutiny put in place last time has failed. We will be looking for cultural change. #herefordEGM
Cultural change takes time -we have reached a watershed moment that as leaders we must see as an opportunity. It's not complicated - it shoudl be a natural part of all healthy organisation. #herefordEGM
Presents a real opportunity to do things differently. There are egs in our council to do things well - other directorates for example. #herefordEGM
Cllr Norman is to second the motion, and will speak at the end #herefordEGM
Cllr Gandy - Nobody who has read the judgment can be in any doubt that this case identifies an appalling litany of failings by the children's and families directorate. #herefordEGM
... we as councillors put our faith in officers, scrutinise etc, but for us to do our job well there must be transparency, honesty and trust, and this has always for me been a concern. Challenge has been seen as criticism, response has been defensive #herefordEGM
And what we are told in the scrutiny committee is not always what is the truth (paraphrasing) as we on the commmitte know only too well. There seems to be a poor work practice culture. Nothing seems to have been learned from other judgments #herefordEGM
Birth parents continue to be marginalised. Legal advice is found wanting. Records are not kept. We need to challenge that it is okay to give information to a scrutiny committee that is factually incorrect (blimey she's saying effectively that councillors are lied to) #herefordEGM
Cllor Kenyon - if we are going to do historic case reviews, which I think we should, we need additional govt support. Social workers I speak to do a fantastic job. Foster carers too. Don't tarnish all with the same brush #herefordEGM
I have a question for Cllr Lester - he was the portfolio holder for this while he was the leader - did he feel he could give enough time to this while he was a leader of the council? #herefordEGM
Also q for Cllr Gandy - I was on the scrutiny committee till I was removed from it - those councillors need proper training in how to scrutinise. #herefordEGM
Final q to Cllr Norman - accountability is a big thing and for the public to have confidence in us - if people have been found to do wrong which they have, I am sure action will be taken. Cllr Norman, you were chair of the children's scrutiny committee
and cabinet member for the last two years - six years involved in children's services work - can you justify why we shouldn't be asking for you to resign from your post? #herefordEGM
Cllr Lester - answer - I was not cabinet member for children's services while I was leader #herefordEGM that was cllr swinglehurst.
Cllr Gandy - there are all the members of my scrutiny committee since 2019 are brand new councillors, and I think we all could do with more training, but if you ask questions and you are not given the truthful answers then you have nowhere to go #herefordEGM
We have similar questions re peer on peer abuse - me: is she saying that the officers are abusive to councillors? I'm unclear #herefordEGM
But this is absolutely damning - good grief - officers not giving truthful responses to scrutiny committee is an extraordinary charge. #herefordEGM
Cllr Norman - I did give some consideration to resigning. Shocked when the draft judgment came through. I've had time to think... I think resigning is a gesture, it doesn't sort things out. Continuity is important. I am committed to the changes and improvement #herefordEGM
I will not be resigning #herefordEGM
I think I've got the leader of the council wrong - it's not Sebastian Lester. I am checking #herefordEGM
Cllr Hewitt - am appalled but not surprised. From the outset I've had little confidence in the LA's children's services dept. She's giving an example of an induction given by CS which she says was 'prurient' and damning of the family involved #herefordEGM
Shortly after she became invelvd in a family's case, advocating for them: it has broken her trust in the children's services directorate. She cannot sign up to being a corporate parent 'because in the current climate, it's a sham' #herefordEGM
Women and children in Herefordshire deserve better. The council has taken a v long time - four years - to fully wake up to the issues here, and take action. (She is talking about handing of peer on peer abuse...) #herefordEGM
The children's services director have done every thing they can to pull the wool over the eyes of councillors. Obscuring facts by hiding info, giving incomplete information, taking a damaging length of time to understand duties re safeguarding #herefordEGM
Using GDPR to stonewall enquiries, closing down public questions by labelling them as defamatory, no, or incomplete follow up on agreed actions. Frequentely adopting an obstructive stance by using the 'unreasonable behaviour strategy' - telling councillors that the whistleblower
was wrong and damaged. They have repeatedly covered up failure in the CS department. Their actions have tried to protect the directorate. The senior managers have their own best interests at heart. The best interests of children have not been their driving factor #herefordEGM
Goodness knows how the families they deal which have coped with the tactics I've described. As a teacher, safeguarding was our central concern. I am relieved to have root and branch change in the CS dept #herefordEGM
I'm calling for trauma awareness training for all councillors and officers, a complete overhaul of the whistleblowing policy. The great post office scandal shows how when one party has all the bells and whistles the other party doesn't have a chance #herefordEGM
To me it appears there is an embedded culture of using coverup to protect reputation at all cost. #herefordEGM
Cllr Watson: My concern is continual governance - how can I as a corporate parent be confident that the 321 children in our care are safe from harm when clear the council hasn't learned its lessons. An EGM was held in Jan 2019 #herefordEGM
There have been numerous improvement boards, now got an independent review - but history informs our future and I'd like to know 1) what happened to those 14 recomms in Feb 2019 2)what is in place to take resp for implementing those and #herefordEGM
new recommendations and 3) has the health pathway been implementd following the death of a 15 year old girl? #herefordEGM
Cath Knowles - who is new - (possibly new DCS? Not sure) - In terms of the governance, the independent DfE advisor will be in charge of any improvement work. #herefordEGM
re Healthcare Pathway, we have a statutory panel; the case referred to has been to that panel, and learning from that plus a rapid review will be looked at to see if there is a wider learning and maybe even national learning #herefordEGM
Cllr Summers: I didn't hear elected members mentioned - can be assured that all elected members will be listened to because in my experience we are not #herefordEGM
This is my 2nd term - it works this way. Officers, cabinet and chairs - if you're a simple elected member, you're not listened to. I should have been more aggressive and put my view more, and I will in the future. #herefordEGM
Leader answer: I hear you. I go back to the 2019 EGM meeting, I wasn't a councillor at that time, and there was reference to councillors having known for some time that things weren't right, and weren't able to engage, and we have to listen to this intelligence #herefordEGM
I hope we will be a more listening administration. I do try hard to communicate as much as possible but I only did that I would do nothing else, but we do need to get better #herefordEGM
CllrJames: This is unforgivable. A failure not only of managemnt, officer and political management. I've been warning of this for 10 years at least, and would get blank stares from officers and some members. When will this end? We've got to know why nothings changed #herefordEGM
I've been with families under the cosh of children's services and I've been appalled at the ethos of some social workers. I attended one pre birth assessment meeting + was absolutely disgusted that there was not a shred of compassion to a family in heartrending case #herefordEGM
I watched yesterday the cabinet secretary under the grill in the HoC yesterday and it was all members, didn't matter what party - needs to be non party scrutiny. #herefordEGM
When it became obvious in this case we'd got it wrong, we continued to fight, and it cost this council 100s of 1000s of pounds, and yet we got it wrong - the council knew, the officers knew, but they continued to throw more money at it to try to brush it under carpet #herefordEGM
Cllr l'Anson: Draw you to 'Herefordshire council provided legal advice to provide consent to turning off the life support (of a child in care)' and I draw you to the Corporate Parenting Panel a couple of weeks ago #herefordEGM
Only 10 of about 50 councillors were present - how committed is that? How would families feel to read this judgment? I hope when our new CE takes up his role he will take the decisions we know must be made to restore confidence in our CS #herefordEGM
Cllr Matthews: V sad day for this council which I have served in for a v long time. I have raised many issues, for a long time. Ofsted have constantly raised the same issue of lack of supervision of senior staff in relation to frontline officers. #herefordEGM
When I've asked why aren't you dealing with issues Ofsted raised I've been told they are being - but they've not been resolved. Can I ask the Cabinet Member if she was concerned if lack of supervision was a problem? #herefordEGM
And can I ask the director of CS if there are any other troubling issues in the pipeline (good question) that will come up in the future?#herefordEGM
Okay, so, it looks like Chris Baird has gone and there is a new CS director, Cath Knowles, in post. I will try to confirm this #herefordEGM
Cllr Norman - I believe there is a lot of work still to do on this (supervision of SW staff) - there have been already a number of changes. It has been an issue for a while, you're quite right #herefordEGM
Interim director Cath Knowles is introduced - there we go: As with any improvement journey, when you start lifting stones you will find other areas of concern, and so I will say honestly that there may well be more areas of concern #herefordEGM
She's not saying if she's found any so far - not sure how long she's been interim CS director yet. #herefordEGM
Just looked at the Youtube info and there are currently people watching this EGM #herefordEGM
Currently 77 watching the Youtube livestream of this EGM #herefordEGM
I can't see who is speaking now #herefordEGM
Somebody called A Gill, who may be assistant director of CS #herefordEGM
Leader is talking: clearly elected members feel that they are raising concerns and not being listened to, the CE and I are going to have to work on this #herefordEGM
Incoming CEO Paul Walker talking: this is a really important part of the CEO role. I'll bring regular briefing of all political groups to the role. And more training 4 members to hold officers accountable (doesn't help if your officers are untruthful or obstructive) #herefordEGM
Cllr Seldon: Retrospect is a fine thing and I'm sure there is not one member who is not asking what they coudl have done to avoid this. This has history, and I remember being scrutiny chair in 2012 of an Inadequate ofsted #herefordEGM
So history going back at least nine years. The role of scrutiny is incredibly important and if you are faced with a scrutiny committee made up of entirely new councillors, it is incredibly difficult to get anything out for at least a year #herefordEGM
I was ticked off by a cabinet member the other day for asking an open question, quite rightly, and it is a skill. (me - how on earth, given Herefordshire CS's awful record, was a scrutiny committee of all new members appointed at all???) #herefordEGM
Recurring themes of these judgments - the role of scrutiny has to be beefed up, and I know Mr Walker will beef that up, and make sure that officers are not evasive, and have the confidence and the self worth to tell us the truth about what is going on #herefordEGM
Incredible how much focus there is on officers at a senior level in the Herefordshire children's services department not telling the truth. This is just basic. And in an aside, there is an example of Chris Baird, the children's services director since 2018... #herefordEGM
telling Mr Justice Keehan in the wake of the first (of four) appalling cases that the senior management team in children's services had been overhauled. Well. #herefordEGM
He was a new director of children's services, he told the judge. That was true as far as it went. But I did a bit of research. Turnd out he had been an assistant director in Herefordshire Children's Services for about a decade. #herefordEGM
His LinkedIn page - no longer available - made that clear. So not really a new broom. Someone who had been in the failing children's services department for a very long time. And was now in charge of it. Grim. #herefordEGM
Have missed a bit of the meeting to tweet the above. Now Cllr Swinglehurst: It is going to be very challenging to root out poor practice, because it will require trust and honesty. #herefordEGM
It has been said by some councillors that being a corporate parent is meaningless - I would challenge that - if you turn up, ask awkward questions, challenge... that's what you're here to do, day to day #herefordEGM
Where legal advice is sought, I would ask that it is asked for to a place that is appropriate to the seriousness of the question being asked (she's referring to the wrong advice that the DCS could withdraw life support without reference to the child's mother) #herefordEGM
Which makes me shudder every time I type it. #herefordEGM
Cllr Toynbee: Welcome the new CEO and looking forward to him pushing us all as councillors and officers. Welcome interim head of children and families directorate. Am sure that all of us since this judgment have heard from families for whom it's extremely emotional #herefordEGM
My Q - the judgment identified incorrect legal advice to management, and this is in our report: para 33 (not sure what report she means) - there's a lot in our strategy about what action we should take re CS, but need to improve our legal services #herefordEGM
Social workers seem unwiling to engage with our legal department. Another Q is about IROs - judge Keehan has previously criticised us re IROs, and they are part of our review, and their role is to challenge senior management #herefordEGM
They have to be completely independent, and take us to court if need be. We recently advertised for a joint IRO and child protection joint chair -is this really appropriate, suffiently independent? #herefordEGM
C Ward (presume part of legal dept): I've had a briefing with legal services to explain that they don't have to take decisions on their own. That where decisions of the magnitude as in this judgement, we can take a collegiate approach. #herefordEGM
Cath Knowles response: on IRO question, that's quite right (she says more but I missed it). That they can go and get external legal advice, and I did pick up that IRO reports are not regularly shared, and I want to look at that. #herefordEGM
Can Andy (Gill) comment on the recent ad for CP chair and IRO joint role? Andy Gill: what we're moving towards is disaggretating the role of IRO from CP chairs (eh? what about that advert then?) - due to a vacancy we've recnelty brought in a new head of service #herefordEGM
... me - but what about that advert then, which seems to go completely against what he said was the aim. #herefordEGM
Leader: the judgment seems to show that social workers don't even seem to have regard to what a judge says, so what hope for in house legal team? #herefordEGM
Cath Knowles: we're working very closely now with legal colleagues. Been able to have some very good robust convos around cases, and we've already started that programme. It's my expecatation that we have a good working relationship #herefordEGM
I've made it clear that where legal advice is being ignored, I want to know, in every case #herefordEGM
Andy Gill: when we knew this judgment and its content, we set up an independent insurance team to look at cases currently before the court with a focus on special guardianship orders, and legal were part of that #herefordEGM
Cllr Hey: For first time in a long time I feel quite reassured that things are going to change. Important for us to reinstate confidence and I think we've heard a lot that shows we are going to do that. #herefordEGM
I'm a relatively new member, and think it's important that members who join committees r updated on current issues. Need 4 transparency + honesty from officers, and I've been given updates by officers, and been compltely unaware of the serious issues behind scenes #herefordEGM
As a primary teacher in an inner london school, welfare of children has been at heart of what I do, hopefully new CEO can bring the change we need, because if I thought I'd be sitting here in 2 years time still discussing these issues I'd have to consider my position #herefordEGM
Cllr Chowns: Reiterating the apology, so sorry we haven't fulfilled our resp as corporate parents. Judgement sobering, brings home the seriousness of the criticism. SW an incredibly hard job, and we need to encourage more good people into SW #herefordEGM
but need to also call out things that go wrong. Why such long drift and delay over 10 years - so many changes of social worker. And no action on previous court judgments in this case.. highlights failures on legal side of things as well as social work #herefordEGM
so question is why did those management failures happen, but why was there also such a failure of scrutiny? #herefordEGM
I read pages and pages of reports, but I had no idea #herefordEGM
How can my fingers be so freezing despite how fast they are moving??? #herefordEGM
Okay, loo break for me - sorry for interuption to service! #herefordEGM
Back. #herefordEGM
Cllr Davies: I worked as scrutiny officer in 2012 when our CS were rated as inadequate. 'I spoke to an Ofsted inspector who asked what I thought of the CS in this area - my response was that we were at the very start of a journey - #herefordEGM
'they said to me it was the first honest response they had heard' #herefordEGM
In my work as a trade unionist I have seen enough staff turnover information to see when issues are systemic. It was at the time of the Ofsted judgment I brought in training for scrutiny members on how to ask questions #herefordEGM
This council has been far too slow to bring in training on proper questioning, allowing cover up or actually lying from officers' #herefordEGM
She apologies profusely to the families and children. #herefordEGM
Cllr Fagan: as a relatively new councillor I have been to a number of parish council meetings where I have promised them that CS is doing well. It is appalling that a child has had to die to show us that this is not the case #herefordEGM
The implications for schools, who have had to rely on info they've had from children's services, are high. The appalling costs to the lives of the children and families in this case, the financial cost which will be huge, the cost to confidence in our CS #herefordEGM
We cannot ignore judicial comments - and if things do not improve, then I too will have to reconsider my position - I cannot see things go on under my watch and go and tell electors that everything is fine #herefordEGM
Cllr Andrews; Are we not asking the right questions, or not being given the right info to enable us to ask the right questions. #herefordEGM
Cllr Tyler:Hearing about the judgment, my heart broke for that mother, re the withdrawing of life support for that child - I question how a director could ever have given permission for that decision. It should never happen again #herefordEGM
It must be devastating for all the parties involved - my heart goes out to the families. We need change, we have to be robust, we have to scrutinise, we need to use processes that doesn't leave children and families any longer than necessary #herefordEGM
We have to listen to families and give them the protection they need. I do not feel a corporate parent. I will, and I will make sure changes are effected and our children's services are fit for purpose, so I can stand as a councillor and say I made a difference #herefordEGM
Ward - re legal position. I think the judgement makes it very clear that we should not have made that decision (to turn off the child's life support) and we should have made an application to court #herefordEGM
Cllr Johnson: if we don't collect the rubbish or look after the roads, the public let us know very quickly. Children are not in a position to make their voice heard and make complaints. Children must get the protectation they have a legal right to expect #herefordEGM
Our motivation must not be not to end up in court again - that should be a by product of having done the right thing in the first place #herefordEGM
Cath Knowles: simple answer is that we develop a really good children's participation effort so the voice of the child goes right to the heart of what we are doing #herefordEGM
I will look forward, with all this focus on accountability and transparency, to the response by Herefordshire Council to my application to judge Keehan, to report on more of the detail of this case and to an interview request #herefordEGM
Cllr Harvey: I had hopes when I became a member of the cabinet that things would be different to my previous experience of obstruction from the children's services department: but no #herefordEGM
This has been a systemically arrogant and closed directorate: I have found it persistent in demonstrating delay, obfuscation, misdirection, denial... me - no holds barred here #herefordEGM
We have excellent social workers at our frontline and need to support them, give them manageable caseloads, but also encourage them to be welcoming of challenge, also they must, please, KEEP RECORDS #herefordEGM
If they are not writing down what they have done they may as well not have done it #herefordEGM
Do the paperwork, it's part of the job, everybody in the process needs it. I'm also concerned about the legal advice - can't believe that advice - that member of the legal team is no longer with us #herefordEGM
I am concerned that in the middle of the court proceedings that this council was presenting 2000 new documents into the case - in the middle of the hearing itself, and to the legal teams of the interested parties #herefordEGM
Why did that happen? #herefordEGM
The legal and governance team are in my portfolio, and I will now be paying very close attention to what we need to do to do better than we are #herefordEGM
I hope to work closely with officers and member to improve training for members and scrutiny. Since March while incoming CEO has been working out his notice, we desperately need leadership from the top, and it's clear you are taking interest in this from now #herefordEGM
Finally, as cabinet member resp for finance, this is going to cost a lot of money to fix. We will find that money. Me - is there going to be an HRA claim on behalf of the mother and siblings of the child who died, I wonder? #herefordEGM
It would be fantastic to have some money from government, but if it doesn't, the money will be found #herefordEGM
Answers now. Adam Mohammend from litigation children's team: re the legal advice, the legal advice was wrong, the approach taken was under S33 of the CA that the LA coudl use its PR to extent it could marginalise the mother's rights - wrong thing to do #herefordEGM
It should have gone to court. The gravity of that decision, it needed real careful thought, real thinking through and you would have to question that. Re disclosure of papers point...#herefordEGM
Partly that was because paperwork was in different places, and there is a policy legal services is pulling together to make sure that never happens again. #herefordEGM
Cllr Phillips: Two concerns - 1) culture. there is an attitude and culture to elected members (from officers?) right the way thorugh this council that has to alter. 2) This is a very serious matter and CS always a very sensitive area for elected members 2 be involved #herefordEGM
And officers sometimes don't always disclose everything. All 53 of us have to be involved in this (he means councillors I think), all of us as parish councillors have to explain that this is a really difficult issue. We need to be part of every step of this progress. #herefordEGM
I'm not sure how we can do this, but maybe at every council meeting we see what is happening in terms of progression on this issue. #herefordEGM
Cllr Jinman: We have to move forward, and build trust. One of biggest casualties is trust. How do we rebuild that with councillors and officials, and public who have elected us? #herefordEGM
There are members at this time members of the SW team out there working - we need to be in a position to give them support. There are also the children who will be very bemused by all that has happened. #herefordEGM
Quote: those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them #herefordEGM
Me - I don't think we're hearing anything new now - it's a rehearsal of "we must improve, this must never happen again" #herefordEGM
Cllr Norman again: hope we can make real progress: my focus is on making changes the needed to give us real confidence in our children's services. We are training staff in the rights of the families whose children are in our care, an independent in depth review of CS #herefordEGM
Me - it's now a reiteration of good intentions. #herefordEGM
There's going to be an adjournment now. I'm going to check back and tweet anything particularly interesting #herefordEGM
Back in the meeting #herefordEGM
Question about the inquest into the death of the child - the inquest is still open #herefordEGM
That question was about whether there is the potential for criminal culpability re the death of the child, and if so, whether it would be prosecuted #herefordEGM
Cllr Gandy: We've talked about the 2018 court judgment - she says this is the third case since 2018 (in fact, there have been four terrible Keehan judgments). SHe's concerned re effect on social worker morale and recruitment #herefordEGM
Some of the people referred to but not named in the most recent judgment have been significant players in previous cases... some of these no longer work in the council, but were involved in training #herefordEGM
That is not ideal, she says. She wants reassurance that people who were involved at a senior level but not named in the judgement can't go on to promulgate poor practice in other LAs #herefordEGM
Me - good luck with that, given that an HHJ Horton judgment - in fact two judgments - setting out how three social workers including a manager had fabricated evidence and lied, massive reporting, but have gone on to be promoted #herefordEGM
And one of them was not long after appointed to be CEO of Slough Children's Services, with the full knowledge of DfE #herefordEGM
None of the officers who are answering this question from Cllr Gandy is actually addressing her main point of how failing but unnamed senior management who have left Herefordshire will not be allowed to swirl round other children's services depts #herefordEGM
That point has been picked up by the chair. Ward: we will have to consider the judgment and decide if there anything we have to consider future employers about #herefordEGM
Gandy - that is not satisfactory, these people have been involved in other awful judgments. Ward - reiterates her answer. Me - this does not seem to me to be very effective. What will be said in their references, I wonder, when they apply for new jobs elsewhere? #herefordEGM
Note: I've been googling Chris Baird and Gillian Cox who were criticised in the most recent judgment, but haven't found anything on a quick search. Can anyone help? #herefordEGM
They're proposing amendments now - all a bit technical, but basically, it's about wanting an immediate-term plan for improvement including firm timescales for the independent review to report back. #herefordEGM
Okay, I have to dip out for five minutes or so #herefordEGM
Back on after a short hiatus. The council is still considering amendments that it's going to vote on. If anyone wants to watch that, the meeting will be recorded and available on the Herefordshire Council website #herefordEGM
Got to go and do some other (paid!) work now, but if you've found this useful and fancy/are able to chuck a few quid at my Patreon ( I'd be very grateful. Also... am pitching an investigation on this, so watch this space #herefordEGM
Sorry, she was director of service.

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More from @louisetickle

26 Apr
Gearing up to livetweet the Herefordshire Extraordinary General Meeting at 10am tomorrow, which will discuss the *fourth* excoriating judgment by Mr Justice Keehan in three years, re its latest children's social work catastrophe - and that is not too strong a word #herefordEGM 1/
Anyone interested in attending, it's a remote EGM being livestreamed here: #herefordEGM 2/
Here is the latest judgment for anyone who has an hour and a very strong stomach:… #herefordEGM 3/
Read 16 tweets
16 Apr
Absolutely massive uplift in cases reported by Cafcass in its monthly figures for March 2021 - headlines: 30.7% or 1,472 more cases than March 2020. Highest ever number for March on record.
Comparing the quarter ending March 2020 with this year, there are (for 2021) fewer public law, or care cases, and more private law cases (parental separation with child dispute).
Figures are: An increase in total case demand (3.9% / 612 cases);
• A reduction in new public law cases (5.4% / 233 cases);
• An increase in new private law cases (7.5% / 845 cases).
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
I've just launched the 'Prevent Domestic Homicides crowdfunder to get @JMoncktonSmith's vitally important book 'In Control - Dangerous Relationships And How They End In Murder' to all 342 Community Safety Partnerships across the UK.
With huge thanks to @BloomsburyBooks for heavily discounting the book and covering postage/packing. So good of them. Would be v grateful for a RT @caitlinmoran @RachelRileyRR @basialcummings @Dontlookback198 @LDNVictimsComm @VeraBaird @nicolejacobsST
Thanks to @Julie_Aunger1, who told us about her daughter Katie Wilding who died in 2016, in the flat of her abusive ex partner - Julie's 4-year battle to get her local Community Safety Partnership to agree to do a Domestic Homicide Review inspired this crowdfunder.
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
Coming back on this morning because I’m still feeling raging, upset and shaky about something that happened to me yesterday when I went on a run.
15 or so minutes into the run, so just about past the pain barrier and when it’s starting to feel tolerable, a guy I later see is wearing a yellow dayglo jacket cycles up behind me. “Coming through” he calls. I move to the left.
As he cycles past he makes what to him I imagine sounds like a complimentary comment on my “figure”.
Read 9 tweets
1 Feb
I am pretty fed up to have been told today that the Transparency Review oral evidence is going to be heard behind closed doors.
This is the Review instigated by the President of the family division of the high court examining whether the family justice system should be more transparent in its workings - workings that have come in for sustained criticism for years. Workings that go on behind closed doors.
I discovered, completely by chance, at the end of last week, that the panel the President had convened would be taking oral evidence on the issues that arise when an arm of the stage takes draconian decisions in secret which change people's lives forever.
Read 12 tweets
27 Nov 20
Finally got myself a minute to put up the judgment on the rehearing of the notorious Tolson appeal case from I think Jan/Feb this year. It was heard by Mrs Justice Judd. I attended most of it - judgment here
Recap on thread from earlier today: the two rape allegations that Tolson dismissed in such outrageous terms were found to have happened. All the mother's other domestic abuse allegations but one were also found as fact.
None of the father's allegations against her were found.
Read 30 tweets

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