North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin has welcomed a report published yesterday which made damning criticisms over failings at Herefordshire Council’s children’s services going back over a decade.

Sir Bill said the report, by Government-appointed children’s commissioner Eleanor Brazil, “is good news for the most vulnerable children in our society but a terrible condemnation of what has been going on in children’s services”, whose “cruel and diabolical failings” it has exposed.

“The terrible complaints I have seen and heard about concerning the state of Herefordshire Council’s children’s services have been harrowing and have gone on for far too long,” he said.


“The people who need social workers and the good social workers who try to help have been let down. It must come as a significant shock to Herefordshire Council to find that in the long term they are no longer trusted to run one of their significant departments.”

The report arose out of Government intervention into the troubled department after it was given an “inadequate” rating by inspectorate Ofsted last September.

Sir Bill said at the time: “The testimonies of numerous families are far worse, and I believe that Ofsted has, if anything, been generous to Herefordshire Council.”

He has now welcomed Mrs Brazil’s proposals that the department continue to get external help, including from well-performing councils.

“A formal partnership with a good or outstanding local authority is a very welcome outcome, as it would not be appropriate to leave our children’s services in the sole hands of our failing council,” he said.

“Going forward, I look forward to seeing a serious and sustained delivery of social services to those that need them the most in Herefordshire, even if they are delivered by other councils.”