- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson AM has sought assurances that Pembrokeshire Council is continuing to work with the Welsh Government-appointed board overseeing improvements in the council’s child safeguarding arrangements.
The Mid and West Wales AM’s intervention was prompted by the resignation last month of Graham Longster as director of education and children’s services at Pembrokeshire Council.
Speaking in the National Assembly for Wales on Tuesday (13 November), Mrs Watson said Mr Longster’s claim that he was, “unwilling to continue working under the direction of a ministerial board,” was “unsettling”. She said:
“If there is any silver lining to be seen in the storm of child sex abuse scandals that have hit the headlines recently, it is the focus it has put on how we shield vulnerable children from harm. In Pembrokeshire, we are still dealing with the fall-out of systemic failures at the county council.
“Graham Longster’s statement will have unsettled many people who, like me, just want to be confident that rapid and meaningful improvements in child safeguarding arrangements are happening in Pembrokeshire.”
The Labour AM asked the Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM:
“Can you assure my constituents that the ministerial board will continue to support the authority to help it to address the concerns highlighted in the original Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales and Estyn inspections?”
In answer to Mrs Watson, the Deputy Minister confirmed that the Welsh Government minister for education would provide further updates on the situation in Pembrokeshire.