9 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Moran: Govt must invest to end crisis in children’s social care

Responding to analysis by the Local Government Association, revealing that the number of children in care has risen by 28% in the last 10 years, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

While councils struggle, hundreds of children are missing out on on a suitable children’s home near to their family and friends. The more councils’ budgets are squeezed, the less is being invested to prevent young people getting into crisis in the first place.

Every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves the best start in life. Conservative Ministers must therefore use this Budget to give councils the cash they need to put children’s social care on a sustainable financial footing, including helping councils to build more children’s homes.

Liberal Democrats will also continue to campaign for more investment in children’s centres and youth services and to end cruel benefits measures like the two-child limit that keep families in poverty.

The LGA analysis also reveals that:

  • Councils have seen a 53 percent increase in children on child protection plans – an additional 18,160 children – in the past decade.
  • In the past decade, there has been a 139 percent increase in serious cases where the local authority believes a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm: an additional 117,070 cases (up to 201,170).
  • The age of children in care has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Young people over 10 years old account for 63 percent of all in care, with teenagers being six times more likely than younger children to be living in residential or secure children’s homes, which is significantly more expensive than foster care.
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  • “the number of children in care has risen by 28% in the last 10 years, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said…”

    As someone who was a (Liberal Democrat) Convener (i.e. portfolio holder) of Social Care ten years ago in 2010, I know only too well that Ms Moran is correct……

    But what it illustrates is the bind the Liberal Democrat Party has got itself into since 2010, because for the first five of those years the party acquiesced in the decisions that led to this situation…… to the point where the Lib Dem Minister for children, Sarah Teather, was sacked by Clegg in 2012 for objecting to what was going on

    Frankly, I don’t know how the party can resolve this credibility issue and therein lies its present difficulty. Somehow or other the next party leader has to dissociate himself/herself from that record. A sincere “We got it badly wrong” might just help, but it’s almost impossible to complain about a mess if you yourself have helped to create it. Being in self-denial is not helpful……. but a clear line of dissociation has to be established.

    Over to you future leadership candidates……………

  • Nigel Jones 9th Jan '20 - 3:11pm

    David, you are right about the Coalition, including that it is still affecting our public image. Yet, Layla is absolutely right to campaign for the current situation to be improved. That is all part of our efforts to get public services improved and we must include in that the strengthening of local government.
    I am pleased that Layla has this matter in her remit, since it is not realised often enough that teachers alone cannot make up for the lack of other public services, especially those that assist children, young people, families and communities. For example, many of us have been campaigning to get Youth Services at the top of our agenda and it was in our last manifesto, but it has taken too long for that to happen.
    Your comment about Sarah Teather is spot on; I met her soon after she had left her ministerial position and she was scathing about our party leadership. While some may say it is not helpful to look back, it has relevance to the kind of leadership we now need to take us forward.

  • No one is more scathing of the coalition leadership than me ( OK perhaps Mr Raw and Evans and a few others), but and it is a big BUT they have in the main gone. Fled to greener pastures and those that remain have had over five years to repent their folly and by the next GE election they will have had ten. Now some may still use the bad mistakes of Clegg and Co to beat us but I fear we will have much greater follies to occupy the attention of the majority of the population who do not obbsess about poltics.

  • @ Nigel “While some may say it is not helpful to look back, it has relevance to the kind of leadership we now need to take us forward.”.

    Yes, that’s the big problem and I can’t see an obvious solution .

  • John Roffey 9th Jan '20 - 4:14pm

    frankie – what you say is true. However, as an infrequent visitor to LDV since I left the Party soon after the coalition began – it seems to me that members have become too insular and need to recognise that their continually reinforced beliefs are not shared with the electorate.

    If the Party is not to wither away these beliefs will have to be adapted to fit with the majority view of the electorate – however ignorant the electorate might seem.

    This is likely to be difficult for those members who do associate almost exclusively with other members of the party – but the consequences of not doing so are likely to be even more painful.

  • Barry Lofty 9th Jan '20 - 5:31pm

    It seems to me that the Lib Dems have to apologise for every mistake they make over and over again, and I know the have made some, but the two so called major parties get away with their awful mistakes year after year and nobody holds them to ransom and they are the people who have been given the privilege of governing this country in my life time.

  • @ Barry Lofty The party should forget about about self-pity and feeling sorry for itself., Mr Lofty.

    The people it should feel sorry for those affected by these ‘mistakes’…. starting with the additional 117.070 children in social care mentioned by Layla……. and that in the last 18 months 596,723 emergency food parcels were distributed across Scotland (where I live) by IFAN and the Trussell Trust ……a third related to Universal Credit issues (voted for by Lib Dems with a few honourable exceptions such as Andrew George, John Leech and Sarah Teather – who lost her ministerial job over it).

    If the party doesn’t get to grips with the issues of poverty and inequality in the UK it won’t deserve to survive. Four days ago it was reported that the average FTSE 100 chief executive earns £901.30 an hour, compared with the average worker’s wage of £14.37 an hour, according to a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). All this should be naught for our comfort.

    Finally, you say the two main parties….”are the people who have been given the privilege of governing this country in my life time”. Are you under 5 – or become deceased ten years ago, Barry ?

  • Barry Lofty 9th Jan '20 - 7:22pm

    Unfortunately David my first election vote was for Jo Grimmonds Liberal party so no I am not 5 years old unfortunately! I agree with all the disagreeable problems you mention and wish a way could be found to help the less well off but I just felt that continually looking back and blaming all our ills on the back of the Lib Dems is a little unfair.

  • @ Barry Lofty Yes, Barry, I too joined when Jo Grimond was the Leader…… and I’m very glad to hear that you and I both are still alive. We could do with a Grimond now, but I don’t see one anywhere with the wit, charisma or brains at the moment. It’s all very second eleven.

  • Barry Lofty 9th Jan '20 - 7:51pm

    David, couldn’t we just, Jo was cool, calm and statesmanlike. Sorry about the extra “m” in Grimond though!! Hope we both can keep going long enough to see a change in this country?

  • Innocent Bystander 9th Jan '20 - 9:38pm

    The inequality argument is used again and again but why?
    £14.37 an hour is huge compared to Malawi average at $250 a year.
    Is the suggestion that all salaries, across the planet should be the same for all 7 billion of us?
    Would that include footballers who’s hourly rate exceeds the CEO’s?
    We need plans to make the nation prosperous (at least, that is what all the others are trying to do) instead of obsessing about what constitutes ” too much”.
    Just collect the income tax and say “thank you”.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Jan '20 - 3:41pm

    So the first comment on a post by Layla Moran, who was first elected AFTER the Coalition ended so bears no responsibility whatsoever for it, is a complaint about how the party handled her present brief during the Coalition, and uses it to imply that she has no moral right to comment on present government policy. David Raw is one of those who has suggested that we need a leader who has no connection with that chapter in the party’s history. I’m inclined to think it would be a good thing, yet this thread seems to suggest that it wouldn’t stop the people who are constantly carping at us over it.
    As for apologies, well that’s been tried now. Jo apologised several times during TV election debates for things we did and supported in the Coalition, but it matters not. It’s exactly as I suspected. Those who demand apologies are the ones least likely to accept them.

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