Tories would axe Laming’s safeguarding ‘quango’

Tim Loughton

Shadow children’s minister Tim Loughton has said that a Conservative government would scrap the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit, which will launch in July to oversee child protection in England.

Loughton said the NSDU – one of Lord Laming’s recommendations – was “yet another quango
created at great expense”.

Excessive bureaucracy

Loughton warned that Laming’s proposals would lead to money going on “systems, structures and shiny new titles”, and warned that excessive bureaucracy was already a problem for child protection services.

He said a future Tory government would “strip out bureaucracy” to free up social workers’ time. The Integrated Children’s System might also be scrapped.

Spending priorities

With an election due by June 2010, Loughton would not say whether the Tories would increase spending on safeguarding, but he admitted resources were insufficient overall.

In its response to Laming’s report last week, the government said the NSDU will be staffed by civil servants and experts from statutory and voluntary agencies. It would:

● Develop national targets on child protection.

● Analyse variations in local performance on safeguarding.

● Identify and promote good practice and co-ordinate support.

● Develop or commission practice reports for practitioners.

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