A report released today by Ofsted has criticised Sunderland Council's children's services, pointing to major inadequacies in the way it deals with vulnerable children.
The NSPCC has said in a statement that pressures on council budgets should not be used as an excuse for delivering poor services.
The local authority must take urgent action to ensure children at risk of harm get the protection they need. Problems with staffing levels can increase the strain on services but this cannot be an excuse for jeopardising child protection. It is unacceptable that some cases have been caught in a bottleneck for many months.
High quality and effective child protection services are a non-negotiable part of what local authorities must provide and this should include a high level of support for frontline workers. Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility, from local communities to councils and statutory agencies and we welcome the council’s development of an improvement plan to improve these services as soon as possible.
More top news
"I would personally like to thank the local community for their amazing donations of food, toiletries and clothing. "
Owners John and Irene Hays say there is ''light at the end of the tunnel'', after the pandemic forced them to close 650 UK stores.
There has been resistance to calls to dismantle memorials to the explorer.