Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1046/29242
From The Socialist newspaper, 12 June 2019
Terrible child murders linked to cuts
Northants council's cuts policies led to bankruptcy, photo Steve Score (Click to enlarge)
Jean Thorpe Child protection social worker (personal capacity)
The terrible murders of two young children in Northamptonshire have been published in reports called 'serious case reviews'. Dylan Tiffin-Brown, aged two, was murdered by his father in December 2017 and Evelyn-Rose Muggleton was murdered in April 2018 by her mother's partner.
Both reports comment on the impact cuts made by Northamptonshire's Tory council have on children's services. The reports refer to high staff turnover, management sick leave and inadequate IT systems.
Although the serious case reviews made clear that it was unlikely anything could have been done to prevent the "single catastrophic incidents" that led to the murders, there is no doubt that council cuts have contributed to and been a huge cause of the dire staffing and workloads for social workers.
An Ofsted inspection last October found social workers were "overwhelmed and drowning."
Over 260 children needing social work intervention did not have an allocated social worker. Some staff had caseloads of up to 50 children.
25% of qualified social worker posts were filled by agency staff, and therefore temporary, and a further 18% were not filled at all!
In August 2018, Northants council became the first to go technically bankrupt for many years. It passed a further £70-million cuts budget.
The council already outsourced huge parts of its services and will now privatise children's services to an 'independent' organisation.
Ray Jones, a social work academic and former director of Wiltshire children' services, made a damning comment on the privatisation plans:
"Instead of the focus being on building a stable secure workforce... there will be the distraction of creating a new Trust... the two new Northamptonshire councils will be accountable for a service where their only influence will be through contract management of an independent company outside the transparency of public services."
The Socialist Party completely opposes the privatisation of Northamptonshire's children's services. We call for full funding for all the county's vital public services and a reversal of previous cuts.
If the government doesn't do this, the councillors should. If they refuse, they should stand aside for anti-cuts councillors who will.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 12 June 2019:
Safe homes for all
Fire tears through Barking flats - cladding off now!
Grenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice
Nationalise to stop closures
Ford closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance
Nationalise Ford to prevent closure
Fight the closures save every job!
Widespread condemnation of horrifying, violent, homophobic assaults
Terrible child murders linked to cuts
Tory drug hypocrisy
Scottish airport strikes - fight for better pay and pensions
Stagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done
Socialists in Unison hold positions in elections
South Western Railway guards to strike again
Socialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference
Southampton hospital workers win
Sellafield nuclear workers' strike
International socialist news and analysis
Southern Ireland elections
Sudan: Military crackdown to break revolution
Nigeria: Stop police harassment of Abbey and Azeez!
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
D-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS
Edmonton joins Enfield North Labour in supporting 'no cuts' fightback strategy
Save Essex libraries protest
TV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 12 June 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook