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

09:51
Hampstead SNP vice-chair Linda Chung

A ban on anti-social street drinking in Camden could be extended to cover Hampstead Heath to fight a plague of “aggressive” nuisance drinkers, police have revealed.

11:55
Cllr Peter Brayshaw.

Camden’s Labour councillors have expressed their shock at the sudden death of much-loved colleague Cllr Peter Brayshaw.

10:47
What the new building is expected to look like

Another conservation group has added to concerns over proposals to build a £42million world-leading research centre next to a Grade I-listed building, saying it will “substantially harm its setting”.

George Alexander Pikounius is charged with two counts of attempted abduction.

Police have charged a man from Wood Green with the attempted abduction of two teenage schoolgirls.

Most read news

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

Digital Edition

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