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CHILDREN'S CARE UNDER SCRUTINY

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Local government's record in protecting children in care means councils will be kept on a tight rein, health secret...
Local government's record in protecting children in care means councils will be kept on a tight rein, health secretary Frank Dobson has warned.

Mr Dobson told MPs: 'I am a strong supporter of local government and local autonomy. In view of the general performance of councils over the years, however, we need to take a fairly leery look at anyone who says 'we want to do things this way, or that way' on grounds of local autonomy.'

He was speaking in a Commons debate on plans for improving the safety and quality of life of children living away from home. These are the government's response to an inquiry by former social services chief inspector Sir William Utting.

He found that despite recent high profile abuse trials and inquiries many recommended improvements have not been implemented.
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