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CARDIFF SAYS IT MAY CLOSE ALL ITS CHILDRENS HOMES

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Cardiff County Council is considering closing every one of its six children's homes to protect the children from dr...
Cardiff County Council is considering closing every one of its six children's homes to protect the children from drugs and prostitution, reports The Western Mail (p1).

The announcement is part of the fall out from the screening of this week's Cook Report TV programme which investigated the homes, and the revelation that it took one home 48 hours to report to police that a suicidal 13-year-old girl was missing.

Marion Drake, chairwoman of Cardiff CC's social services committee, said yesterday: 'We will address our arrangements so that everything possible is done to minimise risks to children - if it means closing all the children's homes, we will do it.'

Ms Drake said that if closures took place, the children would be found foster parents instead.

The council has also defended its decision to hire top PR outfit Lowe Bell Good Relations, at £400 a day, to deal with media inquiries following The Cook Report screening.

The council has its own press department, which employs three, but council leader Russell Goodway said the department could not deal with the number of inquiries following the TV programme as its own press officers were working to deadline on the council's newsletter.

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