21 February 2017
Following a Green Party question at a meeting of all councillors, Councillor Josh Williams welcomed improvements in children’s services, and the extension to the Commissioner’s review, but said more work is needed.
In the response to the Green Party question, Council Leader Jo Lovelock said that following the Ofsted inadequate rating, the Commissioner reviewing Reading’s Children’s Services has decided to recommend an extension of the review until April 2017. Other options included the Commissioner removing the running of children’s services from Reading Council as has happened in a nearby Slough.
Green Party councillor and member of the Children’s Services committee, Josh Williams, said: “We'd like to thank our social workers and the management at the council for the progress so far. Having children’s services removed by a Government minister is a last resort and we know that everyone is working hard to ensure that doesn't happen. With this review extension and a recent Ofsted letter noting progress in some areas, Green Party councillors are satisfied that children’s services are improving, albeit slowly.
“Real lasting change takes time to effect and it also takes focus and investment. We’re calling on the Labour Administration to get a grip on the £7.5 million overspend and properly fund the children’s services improvement plan. It’s only then that we can fully turn around years of decline and focus on what matters – outcomes for Reading’s vulnerable children.”
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