Solihull Council leader speaks out after Commissioner appointed - The Solihull Observer

Solihull Council leader speaks out after Commissioner appointed

Solihull Editorial 1st Nov, 2022   0

SOLIHULL Council leader, Ian Courts, has spoken out as the government escalates its intervention following the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Sir Alan Wood has been appointed as a Commissioner to help the authority improve its children’s social care and functions.

This comes after the former Secretary of State for Education, Kit Malthouse MP, wrote a letter saying he was ‘unconvinced that sufficient improvement had been made’ after the Council appeared before the Education Committee in June.

In his weekly message Coun Courts said: “It is clear we will be served a Statutory Direction and will have a Commissioner, Sir Alan Wood, assigned to help us improve our children’s social care functions.




“Despite the progress I know we have made, I understand the Department for Education’s (DfE) reasons behind this decision and I am sure everyone at Solihull Council will give Sir Alan their full support.

“Staff in Children’s Services have worked extremely hard over the past months and I commend their efforts.


“With the new senior management team in place and the extra support from the DfE, I’m sure Children’s Services can improve quickly enough to reassure the Secretary of State, and more importantly you, that safeguarding of children, young people and families within Solihull is effective and being done well.

“I will keep you informed of progress as this remains a top priority for me and the Council as a whole.”

Solihull Council came under scrutiny following the death of six-year-old Arthur who was brutally murdered in 2020 at home in Shirley.

His stepmum, Emma Tustin was jailed for 29 years for the murder to the six-year-old boy at her home in Cranmore Road.

Arthur’s dad, Thomas Hughes, was also jailed 24 years for manslaughter.

They subjected Arthur to a ‘campaign’ of abuse, lying about his welfare to the school and misleading social services.

The pair were also convicted of child cruelty and made Arthur stand in isolation for 14 hours they also deprived him of food and water and poisoned him with salt.

The Council are still waiting to be served with the Statutory Direction.

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