A year after the child and safeguarding teams in all 10 areas of Greater Manchester wrote to highlight the failure of Greater Manchester Police and the GM Mayor to provide equitable funding for child safeguarding across the whole of the region, there has been no change to the funding made.
At November’s Overview and Scrutiny meeting in Oldham (14/11/21), Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Kenyon identified the funding gap, and demanded to know why it still existed.
Councillor Kenyon said: “Safeguarding children is crucial work in Oldham and across the whole of Greater Manchester so I was alarmed to see that despite the funding inequalities being highlighted to the GM Mayor’s office over a year ago, nothing has changed.”
Government guidance indicates that safeguarding partners – in this case the local councils, the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and GM Police should be “equitable and proportionate”, and be “sufficient to cover all elements of the arrangements, including the cost of local child safeguarding practice reviews”.
Councillor Kenyon continued: “We’re past the point of no return here for GM Mayor, Andy Burnham. He’s the Police and Crime Commissioner, the head of GMP, so a paltry £12,900 for safeguarding our most vulnerable and not even a reply to the safeguarding team who’ve been forced to go cap in hand begging for resources is beyond the pale. He’s the King in the North when it suits and Not My Job for the rest of the time.”
Fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani concluded: “This is the last in a line of policing failures on Andy Burnham’s watch. Millions have been wasted on a broken IT system, 80,000 cases have been lost, and the force has been placed in special measures.
“This lack of funding is an indication of where the Mayoral and GMP priorities lie, and it appears not to be with child safeguarding. That must change, and as the Police and Crime Commissioner, that is Andy Burnham’s responsibility.”