children at risk praised
LIVERPOOL has been praised
by Ofsted for its work in identifying and assessing children at risk
of harm. It follows an unannounced visit by a team of
inspectors who spent several days interviewing staff and reviewing
They focused on how the city council handles contact, referral and
assessment of vulnerable young people. They found that, from
the 6,000 enquiries received every month, children at risk of
significant harm are "promptly identified...and appropriate
steps are taken to ensure that children and young people are safe".
The management of the referral and contact service, Careline – which
is run by Liverpool Direct Limited, the city council’s joint venture
partnership with BT - is praised for being "effective".
Out of hours arrangements described as "well established"
with the needs of young people "quickly assessed".
They also found that children’s racial, cultural and religious
identity is "consistently recorded and appropriately
considered during assessments". The transfer of cases
between Careline and safeguarding teams is described as working
Councillor Jane Corbett, cabinet member for children’s social care,
said:- "This report reflects the hard work of our dedicated
social work staff and partners in keeping the most vulnerable
children and young people safe.
They are doing a tremendously difficult and challenging job in
making decisions about families in very difficult circumstances and
children and young people that are not being given the support they
need or the best start in life.
Their work may go unnoticed and unseen by most members of the
public, but it is hugely valuable and important, and it is only when
it goes wrong that we tend to hear about it.
It is particularly pleasing that we have received such a good report
given the increased number of referrals we have seen; in common
with all other local authorities; following the Baby Peter case.
That has obviously placed additional demands on the services we
Louise Gray, Director of Customer Access, said:- "Careline
provides an innovative way of meeting the needs of some of the most
vulnerable young people in the city and has significantly improved
all aspects of performance whilst providing a tailored service.
The expertise of Careline staff combined with the performance
measures in place ensures that we consistently provide a reliable
service of the highest quality and the excellent results from the
Ofsted inspection are testament to this."
Areas identified for development include making sure partner
agencies are informed of the course of action to be followed;
ensuring there is consistency in the quality of initial assessments
and continuing to make improvements to the electronic social care
The findings of the inspection will contribute towards next year’s
annual review of children’s services, in which the city was recently
graded as "excellent".
Around 940 young people in Liverpool are classed as ‘looked after’
and a further 540 have child protection plans.
Crossens Nursery School's Nativity
THE children of Crossens
Nursery School, Southport held their annual Nativity Play in St
John's Church, Crossens. Has your school or nursery held a Christmas
event or about to? Let us know by emailing us via:-
email@example.com . If your school has photos,
get them to send us a few shots and we will try and publish them,
just like this fantastic photo has been. It was taken by Jim Voiels
from Crossens Nursery School. Please note:- DO NOT send the photos
if you are not a member of staff and your do not have consent of
£9,000 for putting tenants in danger
A LANDLADY who put tenants’
lives in danger at 2 houses, converted into flats, has been fined
a total of £9,000 by Liverpool magistrates. Clare M. Sumner,
admitted, at a previous hearing, 7 offences relating to
properties which she owned at 3 and 7 Radstock Road, Kensington.
The offences were under section 16 of the Local Government
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; for failing to comply with
3 Improvement Notices relating to fire safety measures under
section 11 of the Housing Act 2004; and to 3 failures in the
management of the properties under Licensing and Management of
Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England)
She was also ordered to pay full costs to Liverpool City Council of
£1940 and a victim surcharge of £15.
The prosecution arose following an inspection of the properties in
July and August 2010 by an Environmental Health Officer from the
former Housing Market Renewal’s Health Impact Team (HMRI HIT), as
part of an inspection programme funded through the Newheartlands HMR
Both properties had been converted into self contained flats without
any Building Control approval and serious hazards were identified
including fire detection systems not in working order, flat entrance
doors not to the required fire resistance and which lacked thumb
turn locks and self closing devices, lack of handrails to
staircases, lack of Gas and Electrical Safety certificates.
The court heard that council made a number of attempts to bring
these matters to the attention of Mrs. Sumner, but no communication
was ever received from her.
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for community safety and
housing, said:- "This prosecution sends out a clear message to
owners of Houses in Multiple Occupation that we will not hesitate to
take action against those who break the law and put their tenants’
lives at risk. The level of fines show that the courts view these
matters very seriously."
HAVE YOUR WINTER FUEL READY
WITH severe weather
warnings are being issued for parts of the UK later, consumers in
rural areas are being advised to make sure they have enough winter
fuel. The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is urging
oil heating users to prepare for the colder weather by getting their
storage tanks topped up now. Jeremy Hawksley from OFTEC said:-
"People may have been lulled into a false sense of security by the
mild autumn temperatures and may not have checked their oil stock.
However, once the colder weather arrives demand for oil will
increase which could lead to higher prices." OFTEC
believes that the harsh winter conditions we experienced last year
caused the price of oil to rise as a result of panic buying. The
extreme cold weather of December and January caused untold chaos
with the UK’s transport system, resulting in the closure of major
roads and airports with major disruption to the economy. At a time
when customers needed their heating most, some distributors
experienced difficulties in making deliveries of heating oil to
their customers due to the weather. A combination of the bad weather
and last minute orders meant oil distributors received an abnormally
high number of orders this time in 2010. Government figures
show there are over 1 million oil heating users throughout the UK,
with the majority of those in rural areas. The price of heating oil
has historically always been lower in the summer, and OFTEC advises
to fill their storage tanks in July or August if possible. Direct
debit payment plans and top up plans are just two of the flexible
payment plans now offered by many oil distributors. Rising fuel
costs have meant that more households are facing fuel poverty this
winter, which has been attributed to the fact that incomes are not
increasing at the same rate as the cost of living. The rising prices
of gas, electricity and oil mean that an increasing number of
consumers are spending more than 10% of their income on heating
their homes. OFTEC advises customers to make sure they take
advantage of government grants for insulation. Homes that are not
properly insulated can lose 35% of heat through walls and 25%
through the roof. Old, inefficient boilers can cost 25% more to run
than modern high efficiency condensing models. In addition, make
sure your boiler is serviced regularly to keep it running