1. ITV Report

'We have seen only the first chapter of this scandal' MP said he raised concerns about Powys Council 'two years ago'

Credit: PA

An MP has claimed he raised concerns about Powys Council's children's services two years ago, after a report found failings had put them at risk.

Glyn Davies said he was contacted by a constituent who had concerns over the safety of a young child and when he contacted the council about the case, he experienced an "almost total lack of recognition of the seriousness of the case."

Credit: Glyn Davies

A report by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), found a significant number of serious concerns over performance, quality and delivery of children's services.

It is thought around 650 children are under the care of social services in the county.

Powys Council has apologised and said an improvement board has been put in place and interim staff to 'ensure the future is brighter'.

Council leader Rosemarie Harris confirmed an inquiry into the manipulation of data is underway and the council has 'asked the police for their advice'.

It's a huge undertaking.

There's no point in looking back - we have to put everything right for the future.

We've got to invest in the service.

Safeguarding is of paramount importance to us and I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to the young people, children, parents and indeed the residents within this county that we've had such a damning report.

We've been given 90 days to make sure things are better and we will make sure we do that.

– Rosemarie Harris, Council leader

Ms Harris also claimed Powys is a 'difficult county to provide services' because of its rural landscape.

She added she accepts comments made by Social Services minister Rebecca Evans that she has concerns over adult services and schools.

We have had a couple of schools in the county that have been in special measures but there's a tremendous amount of work going on there.

I would just like to say how difficult it is to provide services in a deeply rural area such as this - the costs are enormous - our school transport bill alone is £10m and we are encouraged to keep people older people in their own homes, in their own communities.

It's not easy I'm not making excuses - Powys is a difficult county to provide services

– Rosemarie Harris, Council leader

Glyn Davies said he was 'disturbed by what he was told' and raised the issue with the Council and received a 'disappointing' response.

He added however he had been 'encouraged' by the response of Ms Harris.

We have seen only the first chapter of this scandal. And scandal it is.

For the first time in two years I have some confidence that the Council acknowledges the horrific scale of what has happened. That is an important first step on the road to putting things right. I’m not interested in a witch hunt, even though there may be some holding to account.

I just want a proper service put in place. It’s going to take a long time, and need a lot of work before we can feel confident that Powys County Council is able to deliver acceptable Children’s Services for the county of Powys.

– Glyn Davies MP, Montgomeryshire