Last week's Ofsted inspection report branding Herefordshire's children's services as inadequate is "extremely disturbing", county MP Jesse Norman has said.

"Coming after the High Court judgement last year and the BBC Panorama documentary, it fully bears out the concerns of parents and children alike, despite considerable recent public investment," the Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire wrote on his Facebook page.


He said he had already spoken "at length" with the council's chief executive Paul Walker and director of children’s services Darryl Freeman, and intended to also speak to the children’s commissioner, Eleanor Brazil, newly appointed by the Government to assess if the department is capable of reforming itself or if it should be put under external control.

Mr Norman added: "There is little point in having another organisation delivering these services if the fundamental problems of staff recruitment, turnover, case management etc. are not also addressed for the longer term."

But one Facebook user, Sara Siloko, commented on his post: "I worked for the council between 2006 and 2012, and the difference between a decently performing, reasonably funded organisation up to 2010 [when the Conservatives replaced Labour in power], and a fearful, oppressed and hamstrung one once the age of austerity set in was incredible.

"The Tory destruction was fast and furious, to the detriment of the citizens."

Mr Norman's Conservative colleague, North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin, said earlier in response to the report: "Herefordshire Council is running out of excuses, and it will be an incredible humiliation if children’s services has to be handed over to another authority because the council couldn’t cope."