Skip to main content

Herefordshire Council: Children’s Services

Volume 747: debated on Wednesday 20 March 2024

Q9. Whether the Government plan to intervene in the running of children’s services by Herefordshire Council. (902146)

The Department for Education is mounting a significant intervention in Herefordshire’s children’s services, including expert improvement advice, a commissioner with statutory powers to direct the council, and a two-year improvement partnership with Leeds. I can assure my hon. Friend that the Department is closely monitoring the council’s progress.

I thank my right hon. Friend for taking this terrible situation so seriously. The permanent secretary at the Department for Education visited Hereford recently, so he will know that the new Conservative council is trying to mend the damage done by the previous Green and independent authority to far too many young people and their families. As a father, does my right hon. Friend agree that progress is still far too slow? Will he meet me to discuss what more we can do?

Like my hon. Friend, I am concerned to hear that children in Herefordshire are not receiving the level of service that they should expect. I know that Ministers have revisited the commissioner’s latest report, and while some improvements have been made, I agree that it is very clear that the pace of change is not what it should be. My hon. Friend has been right to campaign tirelessly on this. I assure him that Ministers continue to hold the local authority to account, but I will be happy to meet with him to discuss his concerns further.