During a heated debate at the recent Sefton Council meeting, Conservative Councillor Mike Prendergast, has criticised the Labour Party in Sefton for presiding over a failing Children’s Social Services Department.
A motion was put forward by Councillor Mike Prendergast to address the failings in management that have been repeatedly highlighted by OFSTED, Councillor Prendergast said after the meeting, “The simple fact is that Labour have presided over a failing department for at least 5 years. Since 2016, the expenditure on the department has increased by almost 45%, in 5 years we have spent £171 million and it is shameful that the Labour Party, which seems to think it has a monopoly on empathy and compassion, can’t adequately look after the most vulnerable children in the borough.
All we heard from Labour were excuses including changes to Universal Credit and National Insurance contributions, things which have nothing to do with what has gone in the last 5 years.
Sefton Labour still will not acknowledge and address the very serious failings in management that have happened on their watch. They simply do not like being called out on this and the only tool they have is to chuck more money at the problem. This hasn’t worked so far and this is not a problem that you can just spend your way out of, the whole department needs reviewing.”
Councillor Tony Brough, Leader of the Conservatives on Sefton Council added, “We would expect full and qualified reports to benchmark progress, not ambiguous ‘updates’ from the Cabinet Member.”
The motion was heavily amended and watered down by Labour and ultimately passed. Additional funding has recently been announced to hire more staff and the department is subject to an improvement notice issued by the Department of Education. Councillor Prendergast said, “I genuinely hope that improvements will happen quickly but I fear that those in charge are not prepared to tackle the very serious problems that have lead us to the current situation.”