Jess Bailey asks why DCC review of the Humphreys case omits a third 2016 LADO meeting…

…..and more!

Prior to the DCC Cabinet meeting 10 February 2023, councillors are allowed to ask written questions. They receive answers but may ask supplementary questions at the meeting itself.

Jess Bailey asked three questions relating to the Independent review of DCC’s response to the Humphrey allegations. (Full text given below).

At the Cabinet meeting she asked supplementary questions on two of them, addressed to Councillor Leadbetter.

Regarding her second question she expressed dissatisfaction with the evasive, carefully crafted, nature of the answer and asked: if officers raised no specific concerns, were any general ones raised?

The reply she got from Councillor Leadbetter was:  “I think you should leave this subject alone. You keep asking questions.”.

She also attempted further clarification regarding the omission of a third 2016 meeting from the review and was told to refer to the written answer which does not deny such a meeting occurred.

(Is this the 2016 “follow up” meeting that “never happened” but now appears to have taken place in November, too sensitive to record?)

Openness and transparency for all to see Tory style. Anyone detect a hint of intimidation?

You really have to listen to DCC leader John Hart and Cllr Leadbetter (link at bottom of post) to hear the tetchy way they try to close Jess down. It lasts less than a minute right at the start of the meeting. Shocking! – Owl

DCC Cabinet meeting 10 February 2023

Questions (written) from members of the council, agenda item 6 

1. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR BAILEY Re: Independent review of DCC’s LADO safeguarding actions relating to John Humphreys and publication of Report. Please could you explain why did DCC hold up the publication of the report? It was completed in September 2022 but only published some 4 months later following my question to cabinet on 11th January 2023.

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR LEADBETTER The delay between the initial report being submitted in draft form to the Council and the final version being published was due to officers rightly clarifying certain points contained within the report and agreeing the final content with the report’s author. I should also add that, in that time frame, very senior and significant appointment changes occurred, namely the departure of the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures and the arrival of the permanent Director for Legal and Democratic Services. I felt it was important that both the new Director for Legal services and the Interim Director of Children and Young People’s Futures had the opportunity to consider the contents of the report before publication, as the responsible officers. 

2. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR BAILEY Re: Independent review of DCC’s LADO safeguarding actions relating to John Humphreys and views of Senior Officers. Have any senior officers expressed any concern or reservations about any aspects of the report since it was completed in September 2022? 

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR LEADBETTER There were no specific concerns raised directly relating to the report. 

3. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR BAILEY Re: Independent review of DCC’s LADO safeguarding actions relating to John Humphreys and multi agency safeguarding meetings In my written question 1.c at the DCC Cabinet Meeting on 13th July 2022, I referred to three multi agency safeguarding meetings which took place in March April and November 2016. Please clarify why details of the November 2016 meeting was omitted from the report. Please provide full details of matters discussed at the November 2016 meeting and outcomes from it. Page 1 Agenda Item 6 

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR LEADBETTER I note your comment about the November 2016 meeting. It would not be appropriate to share the confidential detail of any the multi-agency meetings held. As I have said previously, I am happy to meet Cllr Bailey separately to discuss any aspects of the report that can be shared. The investigator was supplied with all the evidence in relation to all of the meetings.

[For supplementary questions and (non) answers see the video feed of the meeting at 1min 20 sec. At the time of going to press this was still available on the Media Webcast. It should also appear on the DCC Youtube page.]