Birmingham Council, photo by Elliott Brown (Creative Commons)

Birmingham Council, photo by Elliott Brown (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party

Birmingham City Council’s troubled children’s services are to be handed over to an ‘independent’ trust. The department has been in special measures for eight years following a string of high profile failures resulting in the deaths of vulnerable children.

It is clear from the constantly vitriolic comments by school’s inspector Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw (such as saying that Birmingham was “the worst place in the developed world for children to grow up in”) that the government has for a long time been preparing to use the serious problems facing the department as an excuse for privatisation. At this stage it is unclear whether the council will retain control over its childrens’ services.

A local journalist has revealed that there has been pressure from Cameron himself for this course of action to be taken. Unbelievably, Labour council leader John Clancy will claim that this is the council’s idea! It is hard to find a better example of the degeneration of Labour than falsely taking the credit for Tory privatisation.

Birmingham has one of the highest rates of child deprivation in the country which is the root cause of the considerable number of challenging child protection cases.

Poverty, underfunding and a Labour council which refuses to stand up to the Tories are at the heart of this problem.

Profit seeking private trusts will not be prepared to invest the vast sums of money necessary to turn this situation around.