Labour call on Conservative councillor to resign after special needs failings revealed

The Labour Party at Nottinghamshire Council have called on the Conservative member for children’s services to resign after a damning Ofsted report revealed failings in special needs services.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Nottinghamshire Council and NHS Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board are responsible for arranging services for children and young people with SEND in Nottinghamshire.

Following the report, the Labour Party at County Hall say the Conservative cabinet should take responsibility for the findings.

County Hall, Nottinghamshire Council's headquarters on the banks of the River Trent in West Bridgford.County Hall, Nottinghamshire Council's headquarters on the banks of the River Trent in West Bridgford.
County Hall, Nottinghamshire Council's headquarters on the banks of the River Trent in West Bridgford.

Coun Michelle Welsh, Labour’s children and families spokeswoman, said Coun Tracey Taylor, Conservative cabinet member for children and young people, should stand down.

And Coun Francis Purdue-Horan, Independent Alliance education spokesman, said the Conservatives “need to take political accountability”.

However, Coun Taylor said the council was “well under way” with making improvements under the guidance of a new board.

The Nottinghamshire SEND Partnership Improvement Board has been established to oversee the improvement actions.

Coun Tracey Taylor, Conservative member for Misterton and cabinet member for children and families.Coun Tracey Taylor, Conservative member for Misterton and cabinet member for children and families.
Coun Tracey Taylor, Conservative member for Misterton and cabinet member for children and families.

The inspection found children and young people are waiting too long to receive specialist educational health care assessments (EHCs) and specialist help such as speech and language therapy.

Coun Welsh said the report was “not a surprise to the Labour Group”.

She said she was told that the council would launch a review into EHC plans in January, but has not yet seen any report and families were being “ignored and let down” by the Conservatives.

She said: “We have raised SEND issues time and time again on behalf of families we represent in council meetings over the last year, and have been met with nothing but excuses from a Conservative leadership unwilling to challenge their own government on the issue.

“Our ultimate priority is the welfare of children and families in Nottinghamshire, who are currently being ignored and let down by the Conservatives.

“Those in leadership roles like Coun Taylor and council leader Coun Ben Bradley need to be held accountable.

“The Labour Group are calling on Coun Taylor, in her position as cabinet member for children and families, to back Labour’s call for the Government to do more to ensure the council can support all SEND families and if she is unwilling to do that, to reconsider her position.”

Read More
Discarded needles found during weapons sweep in Mansfield parks

However, Coun Taylor said: “It’s important to recognise this report speaks to the current effectiveness of the partnership which is clearly not supporting families and young people with SEND as it should.

“My role now is to ensure the council’s part in the partnership is better and we’re well under way with taking the actions we need to, starting with the setting up of the improvement board.”

Coun Purdue-Horan said: “This report is extremely damaging for the Conservatives who run County Hall.

“What the report says is the council is categorically letting down some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

“Their recent attitude towards decisions made by the independent Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticising the Council, shows they have a track record in not accepting criticism.

“I hope now, in the light of this report, they take robust action and work with Ofsted to ensure our children and young people receive the best support and help possible.”