putting children at risk
A former political leader of Slough Council is leading calls for the resignation of the under-performing executive councillor for Children & Families matters, after the councillor privatised half her responsibilities and the remaining half was taken-away by the UK government following years of council incompetence and neglect.
The resignation calls have prompted a Slough Party spokesman to ask the council's Cabinet member for Children's Services, Pavitar Mann:-
Labour-lead Slough Council allow only one question from each member of the public. Only the first 5 submitted questions will be answered at next week's council meeting on Tuesday 25 November, starting at 19:00 in The Centre, Farnham Road, Slough.
The Slough Party is a group of residents unhappy with the performance and attitude of Slough Unitary Authority (the official name of Slough Borough Council since 1998). Slough Party thinks the council should serve the public instead of councillors and senior officials serving themselves to the public's money.
Cllr Rob Anderson dismissed his loyal Labour Cabinet member Fiza Matloob on
22 December 2011 (reported in the Slough Observer on 7 January 2012) because
he wanted to create a vacancy for a Fiona MacTaggart MP helper, police
sergeant's daughter Pavitar Mann. It was a wonderful Christmas present for Pav
as she is affectionately known. Mr Matloob thought it was a
stab in the back
in the murky world of Slough Labour politics.
On 4 January 2013, Rob Anderson appointed Pavitar Mann as the executive
councillor for all Slough Council's Children & Families services. (source:
Slough Conservatives). Labour, because of their many connections to the
former Communist Party, call their executive councillors
The responsibility appears to have been too much for young Pavitar, who Labour sources say is much more interested in her daytime job as an Account Executive and now Account Director.
9 months after taking over the borough's Children & Families responsibilities Pavitar privatised half of them - education. Giving away essential public services to a commercial company lifted a considerable burden from her delicate and frail shoulders. Pavitar was reported on the BBC web site saying:-
... working with our schools to bring in a
provider to deliver our education services will mean we have greater capacity for
improvement and broader access to a range of specialist expertise.
We will continue to be a strong champion for educational
standards in the borough and by taking on a more strategic, commissioning role,
we will also be able to be flexible and respond to future changes in policy and
Now free of children's educational responsibilities Pavitar failed to devote sufficient time, energy and resources to improving Slough's dreadful Children and Families Social Services.
Despite the damning 2011 OFSTED criticism, Pavitar failed in her duties as an Executive Councillor to produce the urgently needed reforms.
Eventually, after two damning 2013 OFSTED reports, published in 2014, the UK government was forced to take action to ensure the well-being of Slough's vulnerable children.
Retired former council Leader, Richard Stokes, with 27 years experience as a Slough councillor, said:-
It is not surprising that the public lose faith in politicians
when standards intended to protect the public are abandoned.
There was a time when a politician who had failed in their public
duties would have done the honourable thing and resigned.
Slough Council has one of the worse records in the country.
During the last 6 years it has failed to protect our most vulnerable children,
yet not a single councillor or senior council officer has resigned. Inadequate
senior officers have been given generous 'golden handshakes' as a reward for
their serious lapses, excellent references and then, with total impunity, allowed
to fail again elsewhere.
I call on Cllr Pavitar Mann and the rest of the Slough Council
Cabinet to resign accompanied by all the responsible senior officers. They have
failed to make any beneficial contribution to children or to their families. All
they have done is to preside over a dreadful service whilst taking the public's
money. The public really does deserve a lot better.
Langley mother Sharon O'Reilly said:-
Slough's Children & Families services are supposed to provide
a good professional service supporting children and families in times of crisis
Poor management prevents social workers doing their jobs
properly. It causes many social workers to resign.
The council has shown a blatant disregard by overloading social
workers so much that staff have difficulties coping. Stressed-out social workers
are afraid to speak-out because of the council's culture of fear, bullying and
intimidation. Meanwhile the needs of children have been ignored.
Offering payments of £500, disguised as
gestures, to persuade families to discontinue complaints is not in the best
interest of vulnerable children.
Children and Families panels should include independent lay
people to ensure a proper and beneficial service will be delivered to all those
who need help.
Anti-corruption campaigner Paul Janik said:-
I welcome the government's intervention to improve children's services in Slough. It is shocking that Slough Council have carelessly put children's safety at risk. They just do not seem to care about anything.
A properly run alternative to the council's badly failing Children's service will, I hope, prevent many dubious practises ever happening again including the seizing of newly born babies from their mothers' arms - something that upset a senior High Court judge.
Paul Janik's question for next week's council meeting is:-
Has the SUA Commissioner for Children's Services, Miss Mann (Labour, Britwell),
any personal regrets that Central Government has had to take-over the services,
in the form of the proposed external organisation which SUA thinks will then take
3 years before the service might change from bad or dreadful to 'good', and
have those regrets, if any, made her reduce the money she receives from SUA for
her Children's responsibilities - aware that Central Government's appointee
Mrs Brazil is effectively doing Miss Mann's Cabinet job for her - and has Miss
Mann sufficient regret and remorse to resign for her fundamental failures to
provide to the children of Slough a 'good service' or is this just another
dismal Slough Council failure just like Doncaster and similar failing Labour
Party local government administrations ?
It was an impossible task for young Pavitar. It takes a different personality to aggressively force through improvements and to kick-out sub-standard council staff who think the public owes them a living.
We question whether Pavitar was more interested in her personal appearance that in the children's welfare. If the former, why did she accept public payment for giving her make-up priority ? If the later, where oh where is the proof ?
Slough Council has always been a failing council lacking firm political control, lacking competent staff and lacking a desire to excel in serving the public.
Pavitar is mistaken when she arrogantly and dismissively assumes - despite her acknowledged intelligence - that everything 'Labour' is perfect. She also lacks the concerns of normal people and failed to get the street light at the end of her road fixed - probably too accustomed to council neglect and council disinterest throughout Slough.
On the American web site Linked-In Pavitar boasts of her skills:-
Residents of her Britwell ward told the Slough Times their local councillor Miss Pavitar Mann does not return their telephone calls. They also claim never to see her in the streets.
If Pavitar wishes to give her version we will consider it for publication. If her police sergeant father starts his threatening behaviour in a public place again, we will not hesitate in dialling 112 and then formerly complaining to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).
Perhaps if Miss Mann returns as a councillor in 20 years, after experiencing more of normal life and gaining some genuine compassion for the less affluent and having brought-up her own children, she could be an impressive performer.
Rob Anderson is regarded by the Slough Times as a hands-off council Leader. Some elderly Labour Party supporters claim he is not hands-off but feet-up. The evidence is all over Slough but Labour has no shame, no concern and no pride - they want the public's vote but not public responsibility.