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Cambridgeshire CC social services department has already addressed many of the weaknesses in management and practic...
Cambridgeshire CC social services department has already addressed many of the weaknesses in management and practice identified in the Bridge report, according to director Ted Unsworth.

He said: 'The Bridge report makes a number of criticisms of management and practices in the period up to the tragic death of Rikki Neave in November 1994.

'But we have gone through a period of considerable change since then and I am encouraged that our own internal investigation had identified the same issues as the Bridge report has highlighted.

'Following Rikki's death more than two years ago, we moved swiftly to identify ways of making improvements to the department's child care services.

'This report has reinforced our belief that the changes we have made are correct. I am satisfied that the department has a comprehensive action plan and is now moving forward with a better focus on delivering more consistent high quality child care services.

'Child protection is one of the most difficult and challenging services facing local authorities.

'On a daily basis we are successfully looking after more than 800 vulnerable children and it is important that the public has confidence in our ability to provide services of the best quality.'

Leading councillors from all three political groups have fully endorsed the actions implemented by the department since Rikki's death.

Labour councillor Janet Jones said: 'We must not lose sight of the fact that social services staff successfully look after hundreds of children each year.

'The findings of the Bridge report relate to a period up to 1994 and I fully endorse the management action taken over the last two years.'

Liberal Democrat councillor Sheila Friend-Smith said: 'This report draws a line under this sad case and the department must now use it as a springboard to deliver child care services which are second to none.'

Conservative councillor John Holdich said: 'This has been a tragic case and regrettably the quality of services provided for Rikki Neave and his family fell below our own high standards.

'However we should not underestimate the impact of the changes that have been introduced across the department over the last two years.'

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