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SALFORD COUNCIL WINS JILL BAKER EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL
 

Star date: 8th December 2011

SALFORD COUNCIL `RIGHT' TO SACK CHILDREN'S CHIEF – BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THEM?

Jill Baker, former Director of Children's Services, has lost her case against Salford Council for unfair dismissal. Baker was sacked by the Council two years ago, following a stream of shocking child safeguarding cases and a constant `inadequate' rating from the Government watchdog OFSTED. The Manchester Employment Tribunal has ruled that Salford Council acted reasonably and fairly.

The Salford Star sheds no tears for Jill Baker. The magazine called for everyone who was responsible for the appalling child safeguarding mess to resign – Councillors John Merry and John Warmisham, Jill Baker and Chief Executive Barbara Spicer…

Full story here…


The Manchester Employment Tribunal has judged that Salford City Council acted `reasonably and fairly' in the dismissal of Children's Services Director, Jill Baker.

Baker was sacked exactly two years ago in the fall-out from the Demi Leigh Mahon tragedy and constant criticism from OFSTED about the state of Salford Council's safeguarding practices. She was dismissed for `gross misconduct' after Councillor Bill Hinds, chairman of a cross party disciplinary panel said that "there had been a loss of trust and confidence…in Mrs Baker's ability to lead and manage the Children's Services directorate…"

Jill Baker subsequently took Salford Council to the Employment Tribunal claiming `unfair dismissal' but the Tribunal has turned that claim down.

A Salford Council press release issued this morning states that "Mrs Baker said that she had done nothing wrong and had been made a 'political scapegoat'. This was unanimously rejected by the Employment Tribunal."

The Salford Star first called for Jill Baker's resignation in early 2008. And has subsequently constantly called for the resignation of those who were also responsible directly for the failed safeguarding of children in Salford – Council Leader John Merry, Children's Services Lead member John Warmisham and Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer.

In 2006 Salford Council drew up a list of exact roles and responsibilities for safeguarding the city's children. At the top of that list was The Leader of the Council (John Merry) who was to "ensure that the Council gives priority to safeguarding children coherently and consistently in service planning and resource allocation".

Second down on that list was the Cabinet Lead for Children's Services (John Warmisham) who was to "Ensure that the Council's Children's Services responsibilities are properly considered, supported and monitored by the Cabinet…Work with the Director of Children's Services to ensure the Directorate is adequately funded and staffed to deliver these priorities…"

Third down on the list was the Chief Executive (Barbara Spicer) who was to "Make sure statutory inter-agency arrangements are in place…and ensure there is an open culture between local agencies and good direct communications between senior managers so that they accept and address concerns brought to their attention."

Jill Baker, as Director of Children's Services, was fourth down on the list and she was to "Ensure that the directorate has access to a range of effective, efficient and flexible services that protect and support vulnerable children and their families."

So the Salford Star asks again – Why haven't John Merry, John Warmisham and Barbara Spicer resigned?

John Merry, quoted in today's Salford Council press release, seems more concerned about the £175,000 the Council has spent defending its decision to sack Jill Baker…

"We are pleased that the tribunal has decided we made the right decision" he said "but it is disappointing that we have had to spend so much of the council's valuable time and money to reach this stage."

He added that the Council tried to reach an agreement with Jill Baker so that the case wouldn't have to go to a tribunal "for her benefit as much as ours".

The tribunal, held this year, heard of the "shameful…poor practice" of the Children's Service and maybe it was that, rather than the cost, that was the reason behind Salford Council trying to avoid the tribunal.

The cost to Salford's vulnerable children was way more than £175,000

For background to this story - click here and follow the links at the end
 

Council Watcher , Un-impressed. wrote
at 13:32:48 on 18 December 2011
Baker was made a scapegoat by the rest of the backstabbers . All involved in this grim saga of gross ineptitude and neglect of duty should have been sacked , and still should be . As for the £175,000 of OUR money wasted defending the indefensible , all involved should refund this from their own pockets .Merry , Warmisham ,Spicer are a disgrace . The next cuts axe should fall on these parasites . .
 
caroline wrote
at 02:58:31 on 09 December 2011
Surpport this paper ..tell it as it is....many blessings
 
DAVE HATES POLITICIANS wrote
at 20:32:11 on 08 December 2011
All involved in this disgrace must sacked , not just Baker , and no cosy pay-offs with OUR money . What a sickening bunch of backstabbing ,spineless , self-serving parasites run this rotton city .
 
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