Search

Haringey children’s chief steps down days after damning report

10:11 01 May 2012

Councillor Lorna Reith

Councillor Lorna Reith

Archant

The deputy leader of Haringey Council has denied her resignation is linked to a damning report published about children’s services in the borough.

Cllr Lorna Reith announced she was stepping down as deputy leader and lead member for children’s services for personal reasons just days after an independent report into the service was published last Thursday (April 27).

It revealed a series of blunders by social services left children in a filthy home despite repeated warnings they were suffering.

But she denied her departure was linked to the devastating revelations and insisted the children’s services department has made “significant progress” since the case came to light in April 2009.

Cllr Reith, who took up her post at the end of 2008 after the Baby Peter Connelly scandal, said the failings in the case were “historic”.

“My decision is nothing to do with the report, I made it some time ago,” she said. “I completely acknowledge this family was let down by social services.

“At the time our children’s services were in a bad way. We have been upfront about that. It is not a coincidence that that case happened at the same time as Baby Peter’s.

“Since then we have made fundamental changes.”

Cllr Reith stopped short of saying she is confident the blunders in the case will not be repeated, but said the department is “working to ensure such a case cannot happen again”.

Despite Cllr Reith’s protestations that her departure is not linked to the report, its findings are a blow to Haringey Council.

The local authority has struggled to shake its reputation for failing vulnerable children in the wake of the deaths of Victoria Climbie in 2000 and Baby P in 2007.

The ruling Labour group at Haringey Council have remained tight-lipped over Cllr Reith’s replacement, who will be appointed on May 21.

Cllr Reith will continue to serve as a Tottenham Hale ward councillor.

2 comments

  • Ummm... so what has the report got to do with her stepping down? People step down from jobs and posts every day - you say yourself that one report pre-dates her tenure and doesn't criticise her. So your story is a non-story. No?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Taylor

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • Ummm... so what has the report got to do with her stepping down? People step down from jobs and posts every day - you say yourself that one report pre-dates her tenure and doesn't criticise her. So your story is a non-story. No?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Taylor

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest News Stories

08:56
Patrick O'Leary

A member of a violent gang that burst into a woman’s home and stabbed her in the face with a screwdriver has been jailed.

11:39
Howard Jacobson at the LJCC. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Author Howard Jacobson may have missed out on a second Man Booker Prize recently, but it appears the planned closure of a historic Jewish community centre has caused him greater disappointment.

11:30
Surfing on Hampstead No. 2 pond. Picture: Ron Vester

It’s not exactly Bondi Beach, but that didn’t stop three daredevils attempting to surf one of Hampstead Heath’s placid ponds.

10:00
Author Laura Bates spoke and signed books at Waterstones in Hampstead after the man was asked to leave. Picture: Mark Hakansson

A man waging an anti-feminist campaign was ejected from a feminist writer’s book talk after crashing the event.

Most read news

It’s deforestation, but not as you’ve seen it before.

One student’s efforts to raise money and awareness this Remembrance Day has split the public – some love them while others loathe them.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a fire at a fireworks warehouse which left two people missing. Staffordshire Police said the two people remain “unaccounted for” following the fire which broke out at the industrial unit at about 5.15pm yesterday. The force said it was in contact with the missing people’s family […]

To steal the budget store’s own puns, isn’t it a Lidl surprising that their Christmas food is so good?

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition