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News round-up 26/11: Rotherham fostering decision 'indefensible'

  • 4 Comments

Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

Adoption row

Rotherham MBC became embroiled in a row over its fostering policies this weekend after removing three children from a family because the parents were members of the UK Independence Party.

The council is now reviewing its decision after coming in for a barrage of criticism, reports the Times. Education secretary Michael Gove described the decision as “indefensible”.

Council leader Roger Stone (Lab) said the council would check that “all the correct procedures were carried out before the decision was made”.

Ministers are now considering changing the law to prevent a repetition of the row, the paper later claims.

 

Public finance

The LGA is lobbying government to return £1bn of “stealth” cuts over this spending review period, writes the Financial Times. As first reported by LGC last month and last week, the body representing local government argues that a combination of cuts and deferred grants leaves councils facing cuts of more than 10% of their core funding.

LGA chair Sir Merrick Cockell said the government’s plan threatened to “severely limit” councils’ ability to promote growth while a Whitehall source told the FT some of the LGA’s calculations were “disingenuous”.

Meanwhile, the Independent reports on the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ predicting that austerity in public spending could last three extra years to 2017-18. IFS deputy director Carl Emmerson said weak growth meant the chancellor may have to abandon one of his debt targets, raise taxes or announce further cuts in the Autumn statement.

 

Floods

Talks about flood protections between insurance chiefs and ministers are “on the brink of collapse”, according to the Times, potentially leaving hundreds of thousands of households in high-risk areas facing losing their cover next year. Sources from the insurance lobby said ministers were refusing to guarantee an “overdraft” if insurance funds were to run out.

 

Housing

Islington LBC is to invest £20m of its pension fund in residential property following ministerial calls for pensions to support housing and infrastructure programmes, the Financial Times reports. Concerns have however been raised in the wider sector about perceived conflicts of interest and the capacity of smaller pension funds to assess the investment and the relatively low rate of return from house building.

Meanwhile, councils and housing associations will be able to bid for money to bring empty homes back into use, the Guardian reports. It says communities minister Don Foster will announce today that a £300m fund is open – but that the Department for Communities & Local Government has not confirmed how much of the £300m has been earmarked for the scheme.

 

Troubled families

The Daily Telegraph reports that the government’s “troubled families” scheme is open to abuse by officials. It says councils will report their own success against payment-by-results rules, with only “spot checks” being carried out on a small number of councils to make sure they are reporting their results accurately.

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  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • This is completely sick, tyranical and against freedom of speech.Those who made this decision in the council shoudl be fired as they are acting illegally against human rights.

    There is a reason its called 'policial corretness' rather than just correct: how often do politicians tell the truth? Not very often if at all, so being 'political' means stategic white lies. Political correctness therefore are lies seen to be morally correct. This ideology has no place in a rational free country and any leftist who enforced PC should be ashamed of themselves.

    So according to these PC lunatics its OK to turn a blind eye to torture and abuse in African families or child prostitution in pakastani circles because we are told to respect 'ethnicity' and are too afraid of bieng labelled a racist just for being practical and reasonble? How about a Scottish couple who vote for the SNP, should they be banned from looking after English/Welsh/Northern Irish children for not having the right ideology and being anti-UK?

    Its time to stand up for our fredom of expression and throw out the PC crowd as they are the real threat to childrens happiness & safety. Our country and our cultural beliefs have been crushed, trodden on disrespectfully & ruined by the leftist fanatics for too long.

    When oh when will we have a leader with the balls to stand up to them? Oh and Milliband - everyone can see through your hyporcritical populist lies its pathetic, your the most lefist multiculturalism-addicted party of them all.

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  • It is a pity Scott that you allow your views to be undermined by such an obvious political spin. Your are almost as bad as the characterisation you portray.

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  • So it is clear austerity is not working so what do the IFS say - let's have more. Einstein's madness dictum lives on.

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  • Patrick: Your entitled to your views just as everyone else is. But dont sink to the offensive thoguhless level of dismissing anyone elses views if they dont match your own. My views are my own which I have formed from life experience in work and private life, and I’m not naïve enough to be swayed or ‘undermined’ as you put it so easily by one party or the other even if my opinions do match UKIPs most closely. I have a brain of my own and eyes and ears of my own and I wont allow thoguht police to say otherwise or label me. Just because they don't agree with yours doesn't mean they have been 'undermined'. That’s the kind of word someone uses when they can't think or a real response in a debate (or don’t have thoughts of their own).

    I put it you that that’s the sort of thing politicians say in opposition when they can't think of any alternatives themselves and just focus on being negative and lambasting others opinions instea dof answering the point and facing the real issue. It's that sort of logical process that inevitably leads down the dark road to politically-correct tyranny question avoidance tactics which we suffered for so many years under Blair i.e.: anyone who doesn't agree with me must be extreme/racist/loony and don’t need to be taken seriously or answered.

    So what are your real opinions on this adoption row story, I’d really like to hear how you disagree with me because I’d be very impressed if you can logically defend such actions. Or, as I suspect, are you just going to opportunistically smear others without making your own points like the Milliband brigade does?

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