Citing consecutive damning reports on Salford Council's Children's Services from OFSTED, the Demi Leigh Mahon Serious Case Review and the Criminal Justice Inspection, Lib Dem councillors lined up to call for the head of John Warmisham, Lead Member for Children's Services.
Councillors Mary Ferrer, Joe O'Neill and Lib Dem leader, Norman Owen, attacked the Council's record on child protection but John Warmisham, backed by Council Leader, John Merry, refused to budge.
Explaining that he couldn't discuss any details relating to Children's Services, while Jill Baker's suspension inquiry was ongoing, Councillor Warmisham wouldn't stand down, arguing that "I put my heart and soul into the job and I want to be always doing something for the children of this city".
"We have made improvements and are progressing" he added "Safeguarding is getting there and is fit for purpose."
Councillor O'Neill, for the Lib Dems, responded that he was concerned "as a matter of urgency" about an article in the Salford Star relating to a Criminal Justice Inspection Report only six weeks ago which stated that vulnerable children's records had been `pruned' and `cloned'.
"We do accept the criticism and have followed the recommendations to the letter" John Warmisham explained.
Backing Councillor Warmisham, Council Leader John Merry said that it was "inappropriate to criticise the Lead Member for what happens", adding that he was "proud to stand behind the Lead Member".
"Compared to where we were 18 months ago we've made considerable improvements and addressed particular issues and concerns", he stated, although "further reforms are required, and I'm determined to see this through…Leadership requires that you stick by your guns and are not swayed by negative headlines…"
9th December 2009: Article update here