A Time for Reflection

It has been a busy and in many ways a productive week, but what ever it is I think I've been doing this week for the benefit of Manchester, it is put into perspective by the horrific murder of two young children in our midst.

This tragedy would always have quite rightly attracted media attention, but that has of course been heightened by the awful story of Baby P already on the front pages. Councils, Health, the Police cannot avert every tragedy. We are not some form of all-powerful force that can accurately predict what is going to happen and stop the nasty bits. However every young child comes into contact with a range of public or public regulated services even if it is simply going to nursery or playgroup and I need to be sure, the public needs to be sure that everything that could reasonably have been done to protect these two infants was done.

I have received a very rapidly prepared and consequently incomplete briefing from senior Council officers and so far there is certainly nothing to suggest that this is another Haringey. But there will need to be a number of independent inquiries, we need to approach those as openly as possible, not try to pre-empt their findings, and if mistakes have been made own up to them and learn from them. In the meantime I'm sure for all of us our thoughts are with the family and the friends left behind with their grief.

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