Comment from Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Reading Borough Council, Councillor Ricky Duveen:
“Over a week has pased since OFSTED published its report on Children’s Services in Reading. The report highlighted numerous failings in the council’s handling of sensitive cases. Most importantly the report criticised serious failings in leadership and governance.
It specifically criticised the Managing Director of the council – he left his post last month.
It criticised the senior managers – they have left over the last few months.
It also criticised the political leadership but guess what, the councillor in charge of Children’s Services, Cllr Jan Gavin, has refused to accept any responsibility for failing our children over a number of years.
Had Cllr Gavin a shred of decency, she should have resigned already after being cited in the report. The fact that she is still hanging on to her post says a lot about the Labour Administration in this town and its Lead Councillors.
Instead of accepting responsibility Cllr Gavin continues to lead Children’s Services. She does not seem to realise that she is responsible for a catastrophic state of affairs in a service she apparently gave, and is still giving, her ‘top priority’.
There is a new set of senior managers in place and there are welcome signs of improvement but Cllr Gavin cannot ignore the fact that she bears a large measure of responsibility for failing numbers of vulnerable children whilst they were in the care of the council.
The OFSTED report will not go away and I urge Cllr Gavin to do the decent thing and take responsibility for what happened on her watch.”