Demand for answers amid 'real fear' for children's safety after Blackpool Council Ofsted report

Blackpool Council was criticised for failing to make improvements quickly enough to protect vulnerable children
Blackpool Council was criticised for failing to make improvements quickly enough to protect vulnerable children

Failings in the way vulnerable children in Blackpool are looked after have sparked a resort MP to demand answers.

Paul Maynard, who represents Blackpool North and Cleveleys, is due to meet Blackpool Council chief executive Neil Jack this afternoon to discuss the recent Ofsted report into children’s services.

READ MORE: Damning Ofsted report rates Blackpool children's social services inadequate AGAIN

Inspectors gave the council the worst possible “inadequate” rating and the Department for Education will appoint a Children’s Commissioner, whose role will include deciding whether the council is fit to continue running the service.

READ MORE: I won't quit: Council leader's defiant stance after Blackpool Council's damning Ofsted report

Mr Maynard said he was “worried” by the report. He added: “Following so soon after a critical report on the authority’s management of youth offenders it raises very real concerns about how Blackpool Council provides for these most vulnerable individuals.

READ MORE: The improvements Oftsed has ordered Blackpool Council to make after inadequate rating

“There is very direct criticism of the way the service is led and the pace of change. I have very real fears that provision of children’s social care in Blackpool is not currently effective or safe.”

He said he planned to ask Mr Jack how the council would ensure children are protected in future.

It comes after council leader Simon Blackburn hit back as opposition leader Tony Williams called for him and Coun Graham Cain, who is responsible for the department, to resign in the wake of the damning report.

He said: “I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Coun Williams has failed once again, to understand that this is about the well-being of children in our great town, and should not be treated as a political football.”