Laming clashes with social services directors over funding for proposals

Lord Laming has denied that a huge injection of cash is needed to
implement the 108 recommendations of his report into the death of
Victoria Climbie.

Giving evidence to the health select committee in parliament, he
rejected criticisms by the Association of Directors of Social
Services that much more money would be needed for the
recommendations in the document published in January.

He told MPs that although he accepted that social services
departments had been under-resourced for many years, there was
enough money in the system to act on the majority of his

He added that there was a tendency for people to try to solve
problems by saying more money was the answer without providing

Asked if it was a case of “less whingeing and more getting on with
the job,” Laming replied that it was.

However, he added that the self-audit of each social services
department currently being carried out would prove if this was
indeed the case.

Claims by the ADSS that the proposed children and families board to
ensure greater accountability for children’s services in local
authorities did “not sit easily” with new local government
structures were also dismissed by Laming.

The argument put forward by the ADSS “doesn’t convince me in the
slightest,” he said, adding “it is just another example of people
being worried about internal processes and not about outcomes for

Laming also made it clear that he was not advocating the creation
of a children’s commissioner.

Committee chairperson David Hinchliffe asked why Laming had not
given a clearer emphasis to such a role “which has worked very well
in Wales”. Laming said he did not believe that a commissioner could
achieve what he wanted to achieve.

He added that he envisaged the role as one that would be
accountable for good delivery of services and would have “teeth”,
rather than an advocate of children’s rights.

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