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Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett dismisses calls to quit over children's services failings

Medway Council’s leader has dismissed calls to resign over inadequate children services.

After a damning Ofsted report in August, the Labour party called for Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) to step down at a full council meeting last Thursday if things don’t improve.

Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

Spokesman for children and young people, Cllr Clive Johnson (Lab), said: “Three poor judgements on children’s services in six years, along with a disastrous catalogue of ineptitude in inspections and reports, leave the fate of Medway’s children’s services in doubt.

“The leader of the council proudly boasts that his administration has run Medway for 16 years. In that case, he should take responsibility for its failures.

“If Medway loses control of its children’s services then he should take responsibility, do the honourable thing and resign.”

Cllr Jarrett said: “None of us are proud of the Ofsted inspection. We spent half-a-million on Ofsted readiness, which we were advised to do, so to find we could not have been more un-ready was a surprise.

“There are two options, taking your ball home and running away. That was David Cameron when he didn’t stick around and clear up after Brexit. Or - like the sensible leader would do - stay and get the work done.”

'If Medway loses control of its children’s services then he should resign,' Labour councillor Clive Johnson

A government commissioner will advise improvements and review the department’s progress after three months’ monitoring.

Cllr Jarrett, Cllr Josie Iles, who is portfolio holder for children’s services, and companies and charities which care for children, have formed an improvement group to oversee changes.

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