There is a new ComRes poll reported tonight in tomorrow’s Independent which shows a big jump in the Conservative lead to 18% at the expense of the Lib Dems who fall back 4%:
Conservative 42% (up 4%)
Labour 24% (up 1%)
Lib Dem 18% (down 4%)
Conservatives will be delighted to be back over 40% with ComRes which has had them in the 30’s for some time. It will also be reassuring that the Conservative share equals the Labour and Lib Dem shares added together. The Independent suggests that if this poll were to be replicated at a General Election the David Cameron would have more than a 150 seat majority.
I don’t usually reproduce Reading Borough Council press releases but it is interesting to note that the Reading Local Safeguarding Children Board has appointed Stephen Barber as its new independent Chair, a post he will take up on August 1.
Local safeguarding children boards were set up across the country to help all organisations in a local area to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. The Reading Safeguarding Children Board is made up of organisations and professionals from across the borough including Reading Borough Council, the police, the probation service, the health service, Connexions and the voluntary sector.
Reading Borough Council worked with West Berkshire and Wokingham Borough Councils to secure the appointment of Stephen as a single chairperson for all three local safeguarding children boards to ensure a consistent approach to child protection policies and procedures and to avoid duplication of work for those partners who sit on all boards across the west of Berkshire.
Stephen spent nearly 30 years working in children’s social care in several London Boroughs before retiring in 2000. Since then, he has been an inspector for joint area reviews into children’s services and is currently a safeguarding children’s advisor for the Diocese of Oxford advising on cases where children may be at risk and dealing with any allegations made.
Stephen is also a member of the registration and conduct committee for the General Social Care Council, which judges cases where social workers are alleged to have breached professional guidelines. He has also held a number of positions at various voluntary bodies including Oxford Brookes University, Making Children Count project, Oxfordshire Council for Voluntary Children’s Service, Parents and Children Together (Reading) and Hampshire and Thames Valley Circles of Support and Accountability.
The Reading Safeguarding Children Board is responsible for developing a wide range of policies and procedures that govern how organisations in the borough work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The board monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of the work carried out by organisations around safeguarding practice and advising on how they can improve.
It also has the role of listening to the voices of children and young people and their families and ensuring their views are represented in the work of the safeguarding children board.
Speaking on his appointment, Stephen said: “I am looking forward to making my contribution to protecting children by chairing the safeguarding boards from an independent position. I intend to take a fresh look at how we do things, see where we can improve, and help put improvements in place.”
Cllr Jamie Chowdhary, Conservative lead for Children’s Services said “I welcome the new chair as a much needed addition to tackle the worrying under-performance that Children’s services in Reading have exhibited in recent audits. We need to do everything possible to ensure that the quality of this service is dramatically improved and thereafter remains consistently high in order to afford the best possible protection for our children”
I am sure that we can all join to welcome Stephen to his new post and hope that he is successful in ensuring that everything possible is done to keep children safe in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire.