Tower Hamlets and Rotherham

I have posted the recent reports on Tower Hamlets and Rotherham in the documents box on the left.

Each discuses a disturbing range of pathologies, and more of these than is comfortable have echoes in Waltham Forest.

For example, two passages from the Rotherham report particularly resonate:

‘RMBC [Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council] has a culture of suppressing bad news and ignoring difficult issues. This culture is deep-rooted; RMBC goes to some length to cover up information and to silence whistle-blowers’ (p.11).

and

‘Cover up in RMBC needs to be looked at within the culture of a Council that, as has already been described, does not welcome challenge and chooses instead to “shoot the messenger” rather than learn from mistakes that have been made. Inspectors found that RMBC, when faced with information about wrong doing or poor practice often seeks to stamp on that information and silence those who bring forward their concerns. Inspectors found that the Council’s concern with itsreputation leads it to cover up information which it would prefer not to be in the public domain’ (p.134).

Indeed, the overall feeling after reading the reports is one of deja vu.

I am always having to remind myself that there are good councils out there, too, and that what tends to get focused upon are the failures.

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