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‘Shocking & disappointing’ West Sussex Labour leaders damning words after Ofsted report

After Ofsted ruled West Sussex’s Children’s Services as inadequate the Labour Leader at West Sussex County Council, Cllr Michael
Jones has made a damning statement.

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Cllr Michael Jones says:

“This is a dark day for the council. It is both shocking and disappointing
how badly West Sussex County Council has been rated by Ofsted.

Never before have I read a more damning inspection report. This simply is
unacceptable and indefensible.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is as much to do with the cuts to
services forced on this council by the Tory Government’s austerity measures, but this Tory administration must also take its responsibility as they have presided over this calamitous decline in standards.

I previously had my strong concerns about the delays in dealing with issues
by overstretched social workers, when time was crucial, and this report
bears that out.

I am particularly angry therefore that the Tory majority on the council
voted against Labour’s budget proposals to give social workers more help to cut down the heavy administrative burden earlier this year, so that they
could concentrate on social work rather than paperwork.

It is important to stress that none of this is the fault of the social workers themselves, they have worked professionally and been dedicated under almost impossible pressures.

The failures are in political leadership and corporate restructuring, both
of which are the responsibility of those at the highest level. My first
reaction is that resignations of those responsible would be appropriate, my
second is that the inadequacies contained in this report need to be
addressed with the greatest of urgency and the council should spend whatever is necessary.

Finally I am calling for an investigation to identify those children who
have suffered prolonged neglect, including those taken from their families
when babies because robust plans were not in place to safeguard their
welfare, and those 16 and 17 year olds who were eligible for accommodation when leaving care but were not made aware. These children must be supported to achieve in life having been let down.

The political and corporate leadership have failed these children and young people – they may also be entitled to be compensated.”

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‘Blood all over the road’ Stabbing in Broadfield last night only 150 yards from Primary School closes road

The cordon is not expected to be lifted till the afternoon.

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Police have cordoned off part of Seymour Road in Broadfield as they investigate a stabbing.

It occurred last night only 150 yards from a Primary School.

Officers were informed by ambulance a man had been injured in Seymour Road, Broadfield around 1.25am on Friday (May 24).

The victim, a local man in his 40s, was walking home when he was approached by another man, who had his face covered, and assaulted. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

A scene guard currently remains in place.

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said:

We would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the assault or thinks they saw the victim either before or after the incident.

“We are relying on witnesses to provide first-hand accounts of the assault which is vital to aid our investigation.

“Serious violent crime in Crawley, which is not associated with other types of criminality, is rare.

“Communities will see an increase in high visibility patrols and we are encouraging witnesses to speak to those officers with any information they have.”

One resident said:

“I live yards from this and didn’t hear a thing last night. There’s blood all over the road!”

Anyone who witnessed the assault or has information on the incident is asked to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Gull.

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