THURROCK Council’s Chief Executive Lyn Carpenter has ignored the will of elected councillors and gone ahead with her plan to appoint the officer of her choice as interim director of children’s services.
At last Wednesday’s full council meeting her proposal to add children’s services to the workload of existing director Roger Harris was rejected by a majority of members – and even those who voted for it, slammed her for her lack of consultation.
Members felt that giving responsibility for the children’s services department to Mr Harris, even though he was universally acclaimed as an outstanding officer of the council, was slammed as dangerous because it was felt the workload was too much.
The children’s services department has been under constant criticism from many quarters over recent years and has the death of at least one child to be accountable for.
However, today the council released a statement saying: “The Chief Executive of Thurrock Council has used delegated powers to appoint Roger Harris, Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health as Interim Director of Children’s Services for six months pending a report to the council’s General Services Committee to consider options for the future of this role.
“The council is required to appoint a Director of Children’s Services to fulfil its statutory obligations and comply with legislation.”
The Thurrock Independent has contacted the leaders of the council’s three political groups, and independent councillor Fraser Massey and asked for comment. We welcome comment from any councillors, either in suppport of Ms Carpenter’s decision – or against it.