Local Lib Dem councillors have again called for the resignation of Cllr Jan Gavin, the Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, following yet another damning report from OFSTED.
Nearly two years ago OFSTED presented its original report on the appalling state of children’s services in Reading, leading to the resignations all the senior officers, up to and including the Managing Director. Cllr Gavin refused to resign despite the political leadership failures cited in the report. Indeed she said it was crucial that she stayed in post to lead the recovery of the failing service.
According to the new report, Cllr Gavin has not led a recovery but a stagnation of progress. There is serious concern about the continuing high turnover of staff and the lack of progress made on the outsourcing of children’s services. Children and their families are not receiving the care that they need, when they need it most.
Cllr Meri O’Connell said: ‘Social workers are having to cope with impossible workloads and key staff are still resigning. Vulnerable children are not receiving the care they deserve and staff are not being adequately supported in developing and using their professional skills. This chaotic situation urgently needs strong and decisive leadership to resolve it, Cllr Gavin has proved she cannot provide this.’
Cllr Ricky Duveen called, yet again, for Cllr Gavin to accept responsibility for her role in this debacle and resign. He continued: ‘I have no faith in the ability of Cllr Gavin or the rest of the Labour administration team in Reading to run the vital services that our children in Reading need.’