The Herefordshire Labour Party has issued a statement, after a damning BBC Panorama episode exposed ‘damaging failures’ in Herefordshire’s Children’s Services.

The statement from the Herefordshire Labour Party can be read below:

Yesterday’s Panorama Programme has exposed how some families across Herefordshire have been let down by the very services that are meant to support them. Yet, where does the fault lie? For too long poor internal leadership, coupled with wasted millions on expensive outside consultants, who rarely fulfil their ‘promises’, have left the overwhelmed frontline social workers in a perfect storm not of their making.

It is clear that there has been a systematic failure within a constantly re-organised system, where weak structures and guidance have again left frontline staff unsure and badly advised. Meanwhile, a lack of accountability and communication have been compounded by the service being unable to recruit and retain staff; which is the one thing the service so desperately requires.

Although, we must remember that this has been almost a decade in the making, and so these questions should be aimed at the previous administration as well as the current one, who have been tasked to implement the necessary changes. It is imperative that our elected representatives ask the necessary questions to safeguard and support children and families.

This must also include our Herefordshire MPs; Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin, who both have over the last decade – as shown in the state of our rivers – failed to successfully and publicly intervene in an issue that is at the centre of their duty of care for their constituents. After 12 years of Conservative austerity, funding to all key services have been cut. Combined with an increasing cost of living crisis, which the current Government are failing to tackle, adding to the stresses that far too many families are facing. So, it must be stated, do we blame the social worker with too many cases, or the ineffective, inefficient and fleeting managers? Meanwhile, the same MP’s stand back and point the finger at issues they have either help to cause or have no interest and care in solving.