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Fresh child injury case at Baby P council

PUBLISHED: 17:08 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 September 2010

A SECOND child in Haringey has been seriously harmed in a suspected child abuse case, it was revealed this week. The joint area review of Haringey s child protection services, which was published on Monday, disturbingly revealed that a new inquiry has bee

A SECOND child in Haringey has been seriously harmed in a suspected child abuse case, it was revealed this week.

The joint area review of Haringey's child protection services, which was published on Monday, disturbingly revealed that a new inquiry has been launched into whether the agencies that failed Baby P could have done more to protect another child.

The details emerged as the director of Haringey's children services Sharon Shoesmith was suspended and George Meehan leader of the council, and Liz Santry head of children's services resigned.

Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey and Wood Green said: "It's horrifying to find there is a second Serious Case Review under way into Haringey Council's child protection services.

"Given the damning report which found the Baby P Serious Case Review to be totally inadequate, I've contacted Children's Secretary Ed Balls to ask what arrangements he is putting in place so that we may have confidence in this review. Clearly it cannot be carried out by Haringey."

Details of the case have not been made public, but a spokesman for Haringey Council said: "This case review will be conducted under the auspices of Graham Badman, the new independent chair of the Haringey LSCB appointed on Monday. It is not connected with the Baby P case."

The revelations came in a week when Cllr George Meehan and Cllr Liz Santry stepped down after independent inspectors handed a damning report on the failures of Haringey's child protection services to Mr Balls.

Cllr Meehan, who was leader at the time of Victoria Climbie's death and cabinet member for children's services at the time of the Laming report, said his resignation was a "matter of personal honour".

Three senior social workers have been suspended and three more social workers have been banned from working with children in the wake of the report.

Cllr Liz Santry, cabinet member for children's services, also resigned.

On Monday she said: "We now have the inspection report and I accept the findings... I did consider resigning earlier but believed it my duty to stay and to explain the circumstances and actions whilst the council was working with Baby P's family, and since his death."

But as the council picks up the pieces of the loss of key members, it has come under fierce attack from residents and opposition councillors from across the borough.

They question whether the Labour group is fit to govern, when not one Labour councillor spoke out against the council's failures, or backed calls for individuals to be sacked, at a stormy council meeting last Monday.

Local campaigner Ralph Crisp, of Hornsey Lane Gardens, Highgate, said: "All of the Labour group have been found wanting in this crisis. None has displayed the basic integrity required for leadership.

"I was at that meeting and watched the most shameful and reprehensible performance ever, when many good Labour councillors, looking embarrassed, sheepishly voted against a resolution calling for the resignations of Meehan and Santry."

Mr Crisp said that although he is not a Lib Dem supporter, he believed Lib Dem leader Cllr Robert Gorrie was the only person equipped to take over.

Sue Bennett, 66, has been a life-long supporter of the Labour Party, yet she echoed these sentiments. Ms Bennett of Alexandra Park Road, said: "Haringey Labour councillors have displayed ineptitude and I think something almost cosmic is happening, which could bring the whole party down. The Labour Party is meant to look after ordinary people but it seems to be riding rough-shod over voters and to not be listening to them."

Community campaigner Sue Hessel said the role of the Haringey PCT also required investigation.


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