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   Pages 1 to 50 | Pages 51 to 100 | Pages101 to 150 | Pages 151 to 200 | Pages 201 to 268

  Archived Transcript for 19 December 2001: Pages 1 to 50


1 Wednesday, 19th December 2001

2 (10.00 am)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Morning ladies and gentlemen. Mr Garnham.

4 Sorry Mr Mason. I did not catch your eye, sorry.

5 MR MASON: May I start this morning off with

6 a warning/application. I am not quite sure how to put

7 it. I mean warning in an unthreatening usage.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: That is a comfort.

9 MR MASON: I will not be here tomorrow and I do have very

10 real concerns about the late disclosure from Haringey

11 and Mr Garnham certainly slightly underestimated the

12 problem yesterday. It is six volumes of material,

13 2,400 pages. I have specific issues in relation to it

14 and also concerns about what it means for next year's

15 timetable.

16 If I may turn to specific issues, Neil Garnham

17 cross-examined one of the North Middlesex doctors,

18 paediatric SHO Dr Forlee, up hill and down dale about

19 when she phoned Social Services. No complaint about

20 that but we have today for the first time seen the

21 disclosed document called the Social Services Duty Call

22 which is 06/308.501, so we need not look at it, but that

23 shows that Dr Forlee telephoned Social Services at 20.42

24 hours and it then took 57 minutes before that call was

25 passed on to the Duty social worker, so it did add to

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1 Dr Forlee's difficulties.

2 I would like to take the liberty of asking Haringey

3 through you to extend the apologies that they have

4 already given to the Inquiry to Dr Forlee because this

5 is a document that must have been blindingly obvious was

6 relevant and one hopes easy to find. It has clearly --

7 it is a standard form -- added to her distress and maybe

8 that apology may be extended to other witnesses who have

9 had more difficulties piled upon them.

10 My second point, it was said on behalf of Haringey

11 that Mr David Duncan, there were no disciplinary

12 proceedings against him in relation to his involvement

13 with Victoria. That seems to be true but I am not an

14 employment lawyer and for me the distinction between

15 being disciplined and being investigated as to possible

16 disciplinary proceedings is a fine point. It is clear

17 from another document that has just been disclosed,

18 which is 29A/008.504, written by Ann Graham, that

19 Mr Duncan was being investigated for possible

20 disciplinary proceedings and that those investigations

21 were terminated when he left and I do not know whether

22 Mr Duncan was aware of that.

23 A third point is in relation to the reference given

24 by Ann Graham for Mr Duncan when he left, which is at

25 29A/008.558, which paints a very glowing picture of

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1 a thoroughly competent, almost a paragon of virtue.

2 That may be how he is popularly regarded, I do not know.

3 It was only when asked specifically about potential

4 employment of Mr Duncan, the earlier document I referred

5 to, 008.504, Ann Graham, who seems to have written the

6 reference, who was specifically asked by the potential

7 new employer, did write back saying he had been

8 investigated in relation to disciplinary matters both in

9 relation to Victoria, which is how we now know about it,

10 and also to the other social worker B which we have

11 already heard about.

12 So I do not know what standards apply to Social

13 Services in writing references but I certainly do within

14 the NHS know a fairly recent case where a trusted

15 medical director was investigated by the General Medical

16 Council for serious professional misconduct because he

17 had written a reference for a doctor against whom the

18 Trust had brought disciplinary proceedings but were

19 compromised with him handing in his resignation. I do

20 not know what standards apply but clearly there may be

21 issues that some people would want to explore.

22 Fourthly, there is a -- this is all from one volume

23 I was able to skim through last night, 29A/008.539 --

24 a document written I think from memory by David Duncan

25 dated 5th March this year, saying that in relation to

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1 one of the performance indicators with the SSI in

2 relation to the timings of statutory visits the

3 compliance rate was zero per cent.

4 In addition to all the material that has been

5 disclosed and we received yesterday, Mr Singh in his

6 evidence gave us the hint that either there must be more

7 documentation to come or someone was not doing their job

8 properly informing councillors properly in relation to

9 the Dobson letter.

10 That is just one volume I managed to skim through

11 briefly last night. Moving on to what it means for the

12 timetable, Mr Garnham is not the only person who is

13 feeling somewhat tired at the moment. I know I am.

14 I need to have a few days break over Christmas and I do

15 have professional commitments early in January which

16 I cannot get out of. I cannot pay proper attention to

17 this new documentation plus whatever else may emerge and

18 break the back of the closing statements, which is what

19 I was planning to spend Christmas break doing, and sir

20 I do have real concerns about next year's timetable

21 because of this.

22 Perhaps it is more of a crie de coeur than

23 a warning/application, but I thought I ought to bring it

24 to your attention. I do not know if I am alone in

25 having these concerns.

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed Mr Mason.

2 Ms Boye.

3 MS BOYE: Thank you sir. I want to add briefly to what has

4 just been said. I cannot even pretend to be on top of

5 this documentation. I cannot do what Mr Mason has said

6 and take you deeply through all the things I feel are

7 relevant to me. I can say that the timetable for

8 preparation of closings next year is quite short and

9 given that I have clients that I will have to translate

10 to, it is difficult being served with documentation of

11 biblical length at this late stage without knowing how

12 much is relevant to me or not and, it does take time out

13 of preparation of closing when you are constantly

14 sifting through new material in this way. Clearly

15 Mr Garnham is some sort of superhuman animal but I think

16 for the rest of us it is becoming a bit difficult.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Garnham do you want to comment before

18 I comment?

19 MR GARNHAM: I am tempted to say I agree and have nothing to

20 add.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Especially on the last point.

22 MR GARNHAM: There is no doubt that the late disclosure of

23 documentation has caused a lot of us difficulties and we

24 have adopted an approach of largely pressing on

25 regardless, determined as we are not to allow this late

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1 disclosure to deflect us from our purpose. I have to

2 say however, sir, that it seems to me that both of my

3 learned friends' points have some force in them. There

4 is a great deal of material and it is even more than

5 I had been led to believe and it is going to take some

6 time for all of us to look through it. It may well be

7 that in the light of submissions you have received you

8 will want to go away and reflect on whether we can rejig

9 the end of the timetable to allow a little more time for

10 the preparation of closing submissions. It may be

11 convenient if I undertake to look at that again and come

12 back to you with further proposals.

13 It would not be my intention sir to alter the

14 timetabling of witnesses for January because several of

15 them have been moved on more than one occasion already

16 and I do not think it is necessary to move them again,

17 but it may be we should allow a little more time at the

18 end for the preparation of final submissions.

19 It has to be said in fairness to Haringey that some

20 of the points Mr Mason made in his submissions may on

21 further investigation prove not to be as good a point as

22 they sounded. For example, he made the observation

23 about Mr Duncan and the management investigation of him.

24 Well, I can tell you sir that on Day 32, page 226 that

25 precise point was put to Mr Duncan by Mr Sheldon and it

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1 may be that there are points that we can discover have

2 already been dealt with, but I am equally confident that

3 Mr Mason is correct in a number of the points he makes

4 about new points emerging from this material.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed. Miss Lawson of

6 course, sorry. I took it when you did not --

7 MISS LAWSON: I did not jump up instantly, I had nothing to

8 say.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: I will not say what I was going to say.

10 MISS LAWSON: Sir, I hear what is said. I think it is

11 exaggerated in terms of what is actually in this

12 material. I would just say this. One of the real

13 problems in the way that the documentation is now

14 presented is that when we gave it to the Inquiry we

15 sorted it into the material that we called the core

16 material which we thought was actually likely to be

17 necessary for people to look at, and a large amount of

18 other material which as I have indicated we put in

19 because we had no real option and if we had more time we

20 might have decided it was not going to assist so much,

21 which was actually sorted by category, so that for

22 example large quantities of this are minutes and

23 documents which went to either the Policy Strategy

24 Committee or the Children's Services Monitoring

25 Committee.

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1 Now, when they are all extracted and together people

2 can see what they are and they can go through quickly.

3 When they are scattered through five or six different

4 files of documents then obviously people are more

5 overfaced by it than it is actually necessary to be. As

6 I say, I am very happy to give our indication of what

7 people needed to look at but they may find it more

8 difficult to find in the material than it was. Unlike

9 Mr Garnham I have already given an indication that

10 I think the timetable for witnesses in January will not

11 hold but I certainly support the suggestion that we

12 should have more time for making submissions.

13 MR GARNHAM: Sir, in respect of Miss Lawson's observation

14 that we did not follow her sorting, it may come as no

15 surprise to you that we do not accept Haringey's

16 analysis of what is relevant and what is irrelevant. We

17 have complained time and time again that we will not

18 take that from Haringey. We decide what is relevant and

19 we sort it. I reject entirely the suggestion made by

20 Miss Lawson that we should blindly adopt Haringey's

21 approach to documentation. If we had done that so far

22 we would have been proceeding through this Inquiry

23 largely in ignorance.

24 However, in the light of what Miss Lawson says

25 I will have copied and circulated to the interested

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1 parties the note that accompanied this enormous quantity

2 of documents so that the interested parties can see for

3 themselves how Haringey analysed and categorised this

4 material, and if that assists, so much the better.

5 MR MASON: Sir, if I may say briefly, it may be that there

6 is some verity in what Mr Garnham says and Miss Lawson

7 says that some of the points made are not as strong as

8 they might appear. This is just based on looking at one

9 volume last night. I think perhaps it makes the point

10 that we cannot just look blindly at a document out of

11 context and it will take rather a long time to go

12 through and analyse material properly with reference to

13 the other matters, especially like if me you do not have

14 LiveNote, and it adds to the problems rather than

15 decreasing them.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I think that you know that I take

17 very, very seriously this issue about the late arrival

18 of important documents and I think that you also know

19 that I am committed to ensuring that this Inquiry is as

20 rigorous and as open and fair as it is possible.

21 I think fairness is not just about to the witnesses, it

22 is fairness to their advocates who need to have time to

23 properly consider all of these important documents.

24 I am hugely indebted to Mr Garnham and his team and

25 also to the administrative team who have worked so hard

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1 to process all of these documents and to my colleagues

2 here who have tried very hard to keep abreast of it all,

3 and because I am aware of what everybody is trying to

4 cope with I have a huge amount of sympathy to the points

5 that are being made by Mr Mason and Ms Boye. I do not

6 want people to be disadvantaged.

7 On the other hand I think that I must make it plain

8 that I resent, and I hope that is not too strong a word,

9 I do resent the running being made by Haringey and

10 I think this is quite outrageous, to be blunt about it,

11 and I regret very much that our timetable is being

12 extended and extended on Phase 1, not entirely because

13 of this but largely because of this, and I think that is

14 unacceptable.

15 Having said that, and I hope that I have expressed

16 myself clearly on that point, I do not want people,

17 particularly the interested parties and their advocates,

18 to be at a disadvantage and I am willing for Mr Garnham

19 and I am very happy to accept Mr Garnham's suggestion of

20 a look at the timetable but I do want to complete

21 Phase 1 in a proper time. We do have a tremendous

22 amount of work still to do and inquiries have a habit of

23 running on and on and on and I do not think anybody here

24 wants that to happen with this Inquiry.

25 These are really important issues, and the

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1 protection of children in the future I think requires

2 I hope a thorough review to be done in a timely way, so

3 let me take very seriously the points that have been

4 made and I accept Mr Garnham's very helpful suggestion

5 that he will look again and perhaps in consultation with

6 you will make a recommendation to me in due course.

7 Thank you very much indeed.

8 MR GARNHAM: Thank you. May I call Mary Richardson, please.


10 MR GARNHAM: Good morning. Would you give us your full

11 name.

12 MS RICHARDSON: My name is Mary Florence Richardson.

13 MR GARNHAM: Your present professional address.

14 MS RICHARDSON: 205 Morning Lane, London E9.

15 MR GARNHAM: I think it is right that you have made one

16 statement for this Inquiry. Sir, we find it in

17 volume 3, page 4 and I hope you have a copy of it in

18 front of you.


20 MR GARNHAM: Would you glance through it and confirm that

21 you have signed it.

22 MS RICHARDSON: This is the edition that I signed, yes.

23 MR GARNHAM: Do you need to amend it in any way?

24 MS RICHARDSON: I do not think I do. There are a couple of

25 typing type sort of errors but I do not think I need to

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1 take your time to amend those.

2 MR GARNHAM: We will survive those, thank you. Can I take

3 it that the contents of that statement are true?

4 MS RICHARDSON: As far as I understood them to be at the

5 time and I have seen nothing since that I would want to

6 refer to.

7 MR GARNHAM: Thank you very much. You were Director of

8 Housing and Social Services at Haringey from 1st April

9 1998 until 31st March 2000.

10 MS RICHARDSON: That is correct.

11 MR GARNHAM: Was this a fixed term contract when you took it

12 up?

13 MS RICHARDSON: This was not a fixed term contract.

14 MR GARNHAM: Mr Singh told us yesterday that he had

15 envisaged you staying two/three years or maybe longer

16 when you were first appointed and that he was

17 disappointed that you left. Can you tell us why you

18 left?

19 MS RICHARDSON: The reasons are personal in the sense that

20 they are not pertinent to this Inquiry but I was offered

21 an alternative opportunity and although it was

22 a difficult decision to make, I had some serious

23 difficulties about leaving Haringey, I chose to take the

24 other option that was available to me.

25 MR GARNHAM: You moved to Hackney.

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2 MR GARNHAM: When were you first approached by them?

3 MS RICHARDSON: Some point in October 1999.

4 MR GARNHAM: David Duncan told us when he gave evidence,

5 Day 33, page 40, that the rumours of your going were

6 circulating in the department in he thought August

7 or September 1999. It sounds as if he was a month out.

8 MS RICHARDSON: He was more than a month out. There was

9 such a rumour and I was as surprised by that rumour as

10 anybody else.

11 MR GARNHAM: He told us that you e-mailed him denying that

12 you were going.

13 MS RICHARDSON: I did not personally e-mail him I do not

14 think at all, but I did make it clear through the line

15 management channels that this was not something that had

16 been offered or sought and as far as I am concerned at

17 that point I do not think there was any public

18 advertisement. I could be wrong about that but I think

19 the public advertisement was around the beginning

20 of October, something like that.

21 MR GARNHAM: Shortly after the month he was talking about

22 you were approached by Hackney?

23 MS RICHARDSON: I was subsequently asked to consider the

24 option, yes.

25 MR GARNHAM: So it turns out that although he was a little

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1 premature about it, or the rumours were premature, they

2 had substance a couple of months later.

3 MS RICHARDSON: The rumours were premature in the sense they

4 were completely and utterly untrue. I had no thought at

5 that moment about leaving Haringey whatsoever.

6 MR GARNHAM: But two months later you did.

7 MS RICHARDSON: Two months later I did and that was a very

8 difficult bit. Having said that I was not interested,

9 that was even more difficult.

10 MR GARNHAM: He said it felt like a captain deserting

11 a sinking ship.

12 MS RICHARDSON: Mr Singh said that?

13 MR GARNHAM: No, Mr Duncan.

14 MS RICHARDSON: He may have done but clearly that was his

15 view.

16 MR GARNHAM: He regarded you fairly I think as the major

17 architect of the restructuring that was happening in

18 Haringey.

19 MS RICHARDSON: I would like to deal with that and I am sure

20 you will want to deal with that in some detail at

21 a later stage. I was appointed Director and had the

22 responsibilities of being Director. The word

23 restructuring has come to mean a whole pile of different

24 things but clearly I was there to lead the improvement

25 programme with the rest of the Management Team, yes.

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1 MR GARNHAM: His expression was that you had thrown all the

2 cards in the air and after they hit the floor you left.

3 MS RICHARDSON: I would dispute that but you might want to

4 deal with some of those issues at a later stage.

5 MR GARNHAM: And that the news of your intended departure

6 made morale in his team even worse. That would not come

7 as a surprise, would it?

8 MS RICHARDSON: I do not think any changes in organisations

9 are without impact, of course they are not. I was

10 conscious that it was not going to be an easy time for

11 Haringey but the source of that difficulty in real terms

12 was not to the point I gave my resignation which was

13 some time quite late in December --

14 MR GARNHAM: I do not think he was suggesting that the

15 source of the difficulty was your impending move but he

16 said it compounded it.

17 MS RICHARDSON: I did not see myself as being quite that

18 important, but nevertheless I would certainly accept

19 that that was another bit of insecurity that was in the

20 frame at the time.

21 MR GARNHAM: Thank you. Can I ask you to have a look at

22 volume 45A, page 150.643. If you look at the start of

23 that document, which is at page 150.640, you will see

24 that it is Dave Duncan's statement --


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1 MR GARNHAM: -- to an investigation carried out by

2 Bernard Monaghan.


4 MR GARNHAM: What I want to ask you about is the last page

5 of that statement which is 643 and in the second

6 paragraph --

7 MS RICHARDSON: You have the better of me because I have not

8 seen this before.

9 MR GARNHAM: Of course, I understand that and what I am

10 using this document for is simply as a flag by which

11 I can put the point that Mr Duncan made to us to you in

12 a convenient form.


14 MR GARNHAM: He says on that page:

15 "This should not all be blamed on Carole Baptiste.

16 Everyone should take responsibility, Mary Richardson,

17 Carol Wilson, myself, Lisa Arthurworrey. Unfortunately

18 the senior managers have been promoted and left and

19 there are four of us now to share responsibility."

20 That was how he saw it, that a number of senior

21 managers had gone and those who were left were carrying

22 the can. Any comment on that?

23 MS RICHARDSON: There is some reality about that but having

24 left does not absolve me of any responsibility.

25 MR GARNHAM: No. You left about six weeks after Victoria's

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1 death.

2 MS RICHARDSON: My last day in the department was about

3 a week after that death. My technical finish, I was

4 actually in hospital for the last part of my service.

5 MR GARNHAM: So in fact you and Mr Singh left almost at the

6 same time?

7 MS RICHARDSON: I think he left a month or so after I did.

8 MR GARNHAM: Well, in a similar way to you he told us

9 yesterday that although his official leaving date was

10 rather later he had leave outstanding and the like so

11 that he did not work much beyond February.

12 MS RICHARDSON: No, and I think that senior staff in

13 Haringey generally would have had leave outstanding.

14 I was also in that position.

15 MR GARNHAM: You and he left round about the same time.

16 MS RICHARDSON: I do not know. I had already gone and I did

17 not know which date he actually left.

18 MR GARNHAM: Thank you for that. Can I ask you to look at

19 volume 2 page 172. This is a case review prepared

20 following the death of Victoria by Ann Graham. Did you

21 ever see this at the time?

22 MS RICHARDSON: No, I did not.

23 MR GARNHAM: Have you seen it since?

24 MS RICHARDSON: I might have read it when I went and

25 originally looked at the documentation. I vaguely

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1 remember but I cannot say I remember any of the detail

2 of it at all.

3 MR GARNHAM: I want you to look at page 181 and to the

4 issues that Ms Graham said arose from her consideration

5 of Victoria's case. Heading: "Issues arising for

6 Housing and Social Services from the case". She begins

7 this concluding section with these words:

8 "Even at this early stage there are clear

9 indications of misjudgments on the nature of the case

10 which determine the department's level of intervention."

11 She then lists 12 particular criticisms that she

12 would make. Can I ask you to take the time to glance

13 through that please.


15 MR GARNHAM: Would you accept those as fair criticisms of

16 your department?

17 MS RICHARDSON: They would seem to be in relation to this

18 case insofar as I understand the evidence, yes.

19 MR GARNHAM: Thank you. What level of responsibility do you

20 accept for what went wrong in Haringey Social Services

21 in relation to Victoria?

22 MS RICHARDSON: I mean, that is a really difficult question

23 to answer and clearly I am part of the system that

24 failed and have collective responsibility. In terms of

25 the personal responsibility, I have reflected on all of

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1 the key issues that you have addressed to me for many,

2 many hours, as you would probably have expected me so to

3 do, and the bit where I think -- not to say I could not

4 have had some impact on a range of issues and clearly

5 did, in terms of the one that was critical my view is

6 that the failure of supervision, which was very

7 fundamental and quite profound in a number of different

8 ways, was part of all of the line management

9 responsibility.

10 MR GARNHAM: And therefore part of your responsibility?

11 MS RICHARDSON: Yes, of course.

12 MR GARNHAM: So in respect of the inadequacies of

13 supervision, if Lord Laming found there was such, you

14 would accept that you take a share of the blame for

15 that?

16 MS RICHARDSON: I think that you cannot avoid that

17 conclusion. However much I did not know, that is not at

18 the end of the day the issue. It is about what I would

19 have hoped to have known.

20 MR GARNHAM: In any other respects do you see any personal

21 blame on yourself?

22 MS RICHARDSON: I mean there are always things that you can

23 do better. But in the context of the number of hours

24 that I was working on other established priorities and

25 the amount of time that I had, and bearing in mind the

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1 range of other priorities that the Council had around

2 the budget or whatever else, what would have made

3 a critical difference, if that is what you are asking

4 me, then my personal view is that the supervision issue

5 and the things associated with that are -- that is it.

6 You can of course talk about policies and procedures

7 to some extent in that regard, in that -- not that they

8 were not there but they were not obviously followed. So

9 it is a fairly wide definition of that particular point

10 but in terms of the differences on the budget or

11 differences in terms of giving information to other

12 people or whatever, we spent our time firefighting and

13 trying to minimise risk in terms of children's safety.

14 We clearly failed in this particular regard and we

15 failed I think because of the weaknesses in our

16 supervision arrangements.

17 MR GARNHAM: Thank you for that. We will explore some of

18 the matters that you have just talked about as we work

19 through your evidence. Can I indicate so that you know

20 where I am going the six particular topics that I want

21 to cover with you?

22 MS RICHARDSON: Can I lose this?

23 MR GARNHAM: Yes. The six topics I want to discuss with you

24 are these: Restructuring and staffing, policies and

25 procedures, workloads, staff competency, reviews and

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1 money.

2 Can I start with restructuring and before I turn to

3 the details of that can I try and get a feel of the

4 level of your involvement at a personal level. How

5 often did you visit the North Tottenham District Office

6 during say 1999?

7 MS RICHARDSON: I think it was on at least three separate

8 occasions. There could have been a fourth but I am not

9 absolutely sure about that. Again I have gone through

10 my mind and memory. I have no diary or other such

11 things to refer to but I believe it was three times.

12 MR GARNHAM: Help us with the way Haringey Social Services

13 is divided up physically. The North Tottenham District

14 Office is an office block?

15 MS RICHARDSON: It is an office block.

16 MR GARNHAM: What other office blocks did Haringey Social

17 Services have?

18 MS RICHARDSON: The department had and I was responsible for

19 the total.

20 MR GARNHAM: I am sorry, you are quite right.

21 MS RICHARDSON: Up to I think it was, including residential

22 and day care establishments, maybe up to 100 or so sites

23 for me to visit. In fact probably more than that if you

24 talk about some of the housing establishment.

25 MR GARNHAM: How many of those were offices where your staff

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1 worked? I am trying to distinguish between residential

2 care --

3 MS RICHARDSON: I appreciate that.

4 MR GARNHAM: -- and where they worked in an office

5 environment.

6 MS RICHARDSON: Do you want me to spend sort of time doing

7 a quick count?

8 MR GARNHAM: Yes, if it does not take too long.

9 MS RICHARDSON: I think there were at least 13 major office

10 type complexes.

11 MR GARNHAM: Where were you based?

12 MS RICHARDSON: I was based at Cumberland Road.

13 MR GARNHAM: How far is that from the North Tottenham

14 District Office?

15 MS RICHARDSON: Several miles.

16 MR GARNHAM: You would visit -- you did visit you think

17 North Tottenham District Office three or four times --

18 MS RICHARDSON: I visited all of the offices for which I was

19 responsible several times over that period. In fact

20 I visited every establishment over that period.

21 MR GARNHAM: Mr Singh when asked the same question told us

22 that he would visit all the offices annually and one can

23 understand why that was so because he had that wider

24 area of responsibility, but his main concern appears to

25 have been the fabric of the premises and the atmosphere

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1 of the premises. Did you go further than that?

2 MS RICHARDSON: I in fact specifically went to meet one or

3 more groups of staff on each occasion.

4 MR GARNHAM: Would you for example when you visited North

5 Tottenham spend time just sitting in the office watching

6 how things went on and observing where the difficulties

7 were?

8 MS RICHARDSON: No, I did not see that as appropriate to my

9 role, I was not directly responsible for the operational

10 and working arrangements but I was responsible for

11 understanding the impact of the Council's policies,

12 procedures and intentions in relation to staff and my

13 primary reason for going was to meet and talk with staff

14 and that is what I did.

15 MR GARNHAM: A number of American companies and Continental

16 European companies advocate what they call "walk the

17 talk", in other words senior managers not just talking

18 about how things should be done but walking around and

19 seeing how they are done and explaining it to in your

20 case ordinary social workers.

21 MS RICHARDSON: Right, and I did do some of that but I did

22 not do it in the North Tottenham District Office.

23 I certainly did that in the housing benefits area, not

24 least because we were involved in some major process

25 engineering that was very controversial with the staff

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1 and I did go and see exactly what was going on for

2 a morning and go through the processes from start to

3 finish, but --

4 MR GARNHAM: Was that beneficial in that particular office?

5 MS RICHARDSON: Of course it was but I think you need to

6 appreciate the amount of time that I had available.

7 I was actually working from first thing -- during the

8 relevant period working from first thing in the morning

9 quite often until 11 or 12 o'clock at night. The amount

10 of time that I had available to do all of the things in

11 an ideal world I might have wished to have done was

12 simply not present.

13 MR GARNHAM: Yes. It is the complaint of senior managers

14 everywhere in the private sector and the public sector.

15 There are those who say that it is particularly where

16 managers are that busy that they should set aside an

17 amount of time every day to do precisely what I am

18 talking about, walking the talk.

19 MS RICHARDSON: I think every day was unrealistic but

20 I certainly tried to set out the equivalent of a day

21 a week which was largely to meet and talk with staff.

22 In fact sometimes it was rather more than that.

23 MR GARNHAM: Did you feel that you got a feedback from that

24 so that you knew the way they were thinking?

25 MS RICHARDSON: I certainly knew the way they were thinking.

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1 Whether that reflected what they were doing clearly is

2 another different matter and one which I have reflected

3 on since.

4 MR GARNHAM: There are two benefits potentially from that

5 walk the talk exercise. One is you see how good they

6 are at doing their job, the other is that you are there

7 as an ear to whom they can speak.

8 MS RICHARDSON: And I have to tell you that many staff took

9 that opportunity.

10 MR GARNHAM: Your ear was bent?

11 MS RICHARDSON: My ear was bent on many, many occasions but

12 it was not bent by the people in the North Tottenham

13 District Office in the way that it was by other staff.

14 I had open door sessions, I had other briefing sessions,

15 I was involved in focus groups testing what staff views

16 about things were, and I heard frequently from staff

17 what they thought about all manner of things.

18 MR GARNHAM: Did you get any of that sort of direct feedback

19 from social services staff about the way restructuring

20 was being received?

21 MS RICHARDSON: Yes I did. I had a very large amount of

22 feedback both personally and through other systems

23 including a staff survey that we did, including having

24 focus groups, including through the line management

25 system and formal reply envelopes. We did all sorts of

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1 things and we had a very large amount of feedback from

2 the staff.

3 MR GARNHAM: Could you have volume 26 page 28. This is your

4 paper to the Housing Services Committee of February 1999

5 dealing with redirecting the work of the department.

6 I think it is right to say that this paper sets out the

7 raison d'etre for restructuring.

8 MS RICHARDSON: As it had emerged as a result of discussion

9 with staff.

10 MR GARNHAM: Yes, I understand that.

11 MS RICHARDSON: It was not solely my view of the world. It

12 followed an original period of consultation.

13 MR GARNHAM: With managers or with staff?

14 MS RICHARDSON: No, across the department.

15 MR GARNHAM: You identify the objectives of the

16 restructuring at page 31 in our bundle where you list

17 four main categories of objectives for users in the

18 wider public, department agencies for staff and

19 increased effectiveness and efficiency, and you

20 subdivided each of those to a number of bullet points.

21 When Mr Kousoulou gave evidence to this Inquiry he said

22 that in his view there were three principal drivers, to

23 use the jargon, for restructuring. He identified more

24 devolved and more modern management structures, a means

25 of addressing poor performance by some team managers and

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1 saving cash. He puts them pithily but do you agree that

2 that is in essence what it was about?

3 MS RICHARDSON: I do not think I would have reduced it to so

4 few. Those -- you are using the word "team managers"

5 and I do not think that was the word probably that he

6 would have used either.

7 MR GARNHAM: It was the word he used in evidence because he

8 was pressed on it.

9 MS RICHARDSON: Right, then I do not think he would have

10 used -- there were certainly issues about the

11 accountability and the responsibility that first line

12 managers and some third tier managers were prepared to

13 take.

14 MR GARNHAM: I have slightly misled you, let me correct

15 that. He said managers, not team managers.

16 MS RICHARDSON: That is what I would have thought he would

17 have said.

18 MR GARNHAM: I am sorry.

19 MS RICHARDSON: No, I think the other issues about the sort

20 of service we wanted for the public were important.

21 Clearly this was in part driven or quite considerably

22 driven by a national agenda which was about public

23 services which are responsive and appropriate and wanted

24 by the service users, and I would put that as the

25 highest priority, because I do not think that we had

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1 that universally. We had some pockets of excellent

2 practice across the board and including in Children's

3 Services, but that was not universal, and that was

4 certainly an issue we needed to deal with. The fact

5 that there were some managers who did not help in some

6 of that process was clearly important but the object of

7 the exercise was about service improvement for service

8 users.

9 MR GARNHAM: You make it sound as if the populous of

10 Haringey were crying out for restructuring in their

11 Social Services Department, which sounds a trifle

12 unlikely.

13 MS RICHARDSON: Well, I do not think that they were and this

14 was not primarily about restructuring. I would quite

15 like to be able to deal with that.

16 MR GARNHAM: Do so now.

17 MS RICHARDSON: Let us separate out the different issues.

18 This was primarily an exercise in introducing proper

19 performance management arrangements with a service user

20 focus and it was about changing the work practices --

21 MR GARNHAM: Can we break that down?

22 MS RICHARDSON: Of course.

23 MR GARNHAM: I will need to look at what you said.

24 "...~introducing proper performance management

25 arrangements with a service user focus ...". Proper

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1 performance management arrangement. Is that knowing how

2 well you are doing?

3 MS RICHARDSON: It is about knowing how well you are doing.

4 It is also having some information to tell you when you

5 are not doing so well, so you can do something about it.

6 You will be aware from Mr Singh's evidence I think

7 yesterday that the Government had introduced a range of

8 corporate indicators of which there were a few social

9 services ones. I think you said to him yesterday that

10 was sort of Haringey's view of performance. That was

11 not actually Haringey's view of performance, that was

12 the best value framework view of performance. Those

13 were the indicators that were reported on publicly for

14 other Government requirements.

15 MR GARNHAM: That is the six, 1 to 6?

16 MS RICHARDSON: It has all changed since and I cannot

17 remember exactly what the contemporary position was but

18 that was not Haringey determined, that was national

19 Government determined. But clearly we were more

20 interested in performance than just what some of those

21 indicators were, a very poor proxy for the complete

22 picture of performance that we would need to look at.

23 MR GARNHAM: So you were wanting to find out how you were

24 doing, good and bad?


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1 MR GARNHAM: That was in the context of a user focus?

2 MS RICHARDSON: I think you are looking at 8.11.

3 MR GARNHAM: Service user focus. That means what?

4 MS RICHARDSON: It means that the user has some control in

5 the decisions about their lives. Traditionally social

6 services have been extremely paternalistic, some of the

7 concepts of welfare historically have been extremely

8 paternalistic and quite often patronising. Clearly

9 there has been a move nationally to change the way we

10 look at public services and how we provide welfare and

11 that is very welcome and that is how it should be.

12 People, insofar as that is possible, even in the

13 heaviest end of child protection, need to understand the

14 process and be able to make sure that their views and

15 needs and requirements are properly represented and

16 understood.

17 MR GARNHAM: I see. So you see as one of the major drivers

18 these changes to the way in which performance

19 information is gathered and the extent to which that

20 satisfies the --

21 MS RICHARDSON: You are concentrating rather too much on the

22 actual information. The information is only a means to

23 an end.

24 MR GARNHAM: I understand.

25 MS RICHARDSON: And the reality of what we wanted was

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1 effective supervision and people who knew good practice

2 from bad practice and that was not universally the case,

3 so there were some issues about where we started, but in

4 the context of providing an equitable service to the

5 range of service users that we had, and I certainly saw

6 a lot of evidence about the inconsistency of the work

7 that was going on and the variability of the quality.

8 So it was not just about one user in one place, it was

9 trying to make sure that we applied those standards more

10 generally, more widely, more regularly and just

11 generally better.

12 MR GARNHAM: I understand. So that is one of the most

13 important you would say of the drivers for this change.

14 Do you agree that the other things Mr Kousoulou

15 mentioned were also important drivers?

16 MS RICHARDSON: Some of those issues are about the means to

17 the ends.

18 MR GARNHAM: Certainly addressing the problem of poor

19 managers was.

20 MS RICHARDSON: That is right.

21 MR GARNHAM: Saving money probably was not, was it?

22 MS RICHARDSON: Saving money was always a consideration in

23 Haringey and I think you want to deal at length with

24 that item in due course, but clearly there were limited

25 resources and we knew that potentially even if we kept

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1 the same resources there was an increase in demand

2 overall for some of the services that we provided,

3 a frailer elderly population for example, so we had to

4 make use, make better use of the resource that we had.

5 MR GARNHAM: Sounds as if you are agreeing with

6 Mr Kousoulou's three motivators but you are qualifying

7 them to some extent.

8 MS RICHARDSON: I do not know that I particularly qualify

9 them. Dinos, who is a well respected colleague, will

10 see things I think somewhat differently to me on

11 a number of occasions. He may well be right and

12 crystallise things more appropriately but I think I saw

13 a rather more complex picture than the one that he put

14 forward.

15 MR GARNHAM: Mr Singh adopted a similar approach. He agreed

16 that those three that Mr Kousoulou identified were

17 important factors but he added others and I think your

18 position is similar.

19 MS RICHARDSON: Yes. The whole list was important. At one

20 level clearly some things followed from another, but in

21 that sense it was a very fundamental cultural change

22 that we were trying to achieve.

23 MR GARNHAM: You begin your discussion of the backgrounds to

24 the restructuring at 26/029 in the same paper by

25 referring to the merger of the two directorates in the

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1 single Housing and Social Services Department in 1993

2 and you tell us about the undoubted benefit that had

3 been seen to accrue from that joint operation.

4 MS RICHARDSON: I was very clear about the benefits. I was

5 also very aware of some of the real difficulties that it

6 caused for the infrastructure and senior staff, so it

7 was not without some difficulties, and even within the

8 joint arrangements there were still a whole number of

9 issues that we needed to sort out.

10 MR GARNHAM: Do we see any reference to the downside of the

11 joinder here?

12 MS RICHARDSON: You might not there but it was talked about

13 in the original report that was commissioned from SOUS

14 in Bristol, I think that is where it was. It certainly

15 had been in the public arena.

16 MR GARNHAM: You tell us that the benefits had been

17 "validated through external reviews".

18 MS RICHARDSON: This was true, yes.

19 MR GARNHAM: Is that the Bristol review?

20 MS RICHARDSON: It was the Bristol review and the Joint

21 Review.

22 MR GARNHAM: So why then was it decided to split the

23 department?

24 MS RICHARDSON: It was not whilst I was in Haringey.

25 MR GARNHAM: So that happened afterwards?

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1 MS RICHARDSON: It happened afterwards. Do you want me to

2 try and help you understand what I think has gone wrong

3 with the most recent evidence?

4 MR GARNHAM: Yes, in a moment. We had statements from

5 a number of people including Mr Singh, Ms Adamou,

6 Mr Sulaiman and the Leader of the Council in similar

7 terms it has to be said, each of which assert that the

8 plan that was devised in 1999 had as its end point

9 a split of the single department into two by 2002.

10 MS RICHARDSON: Right. Unless there was something that was

11 not shared with me, and I think that that was unlikely,

12 that discussion did not start until after I left the

13 department. My view -- you got into quite a sort of

14 conflated discussion talking I think at cross purposes

15 with Mr Singh yesterday, with respect, because the other

16 fundamental issue that was going on at that time as far

17 as members were concerned was about the structure of the

18 department, but it was not about the Social Services

19 part, it was about the Housing part.

20 The Director of Corporate Services had certainly

21 expressed a view that he would like the housing benefit

22 and council tax collection in his area of work, so that

23 was one proposal. But the second proposal, which was

24 a very radical one and which exercised a lot of member

25 time and thinking, was as a result of what would be the

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1 downsizing of the Housing function in the sense that we

2 had planned to do two things which were extremely

3 important.

4 One in the context of the wider modernisation of the

5 Council, and that was to attempt to run four front line

6 public access offices of which the Housing function,

7 though not Social Services, was going to be a part, and

8 the reason for that is I did not believe that you could

9 deal with the sort of social services work in the

10 generality of general information-giving activity for

11 the Council, that the nature of the work was specialised

12 and we needed specialist staff, but for housing

13 management staff there was a very controversial proposal

14 to reduce from seven district offices down to four in

15 the context of, as I say, a wider corporate

16 restructuring.

17 That was also contentious in the context of why that

18 was going to be possible, which was the issue about the

19 potential transfer of council housing stock to probably

20 most likely to be an RSL or some sort of not for profit

21 arrangement.

22 MR GARNHAM: I am going to stop you there because I want to

23 make sure I am understanding where you are going. I am

24 not sure that Mr Singh and I were talking at cross

25 purposes. It was plain from his evidence that he

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1 understood the position to be that there was a plan to

2 split the department before he left and you and he left

3 at much the same time, and that certainly is borne out

4 by the statements of the four people that I have

5 referred you to. But you are telling us that there was

6 no such plan?

7 MS RICHARDSON: As I say, it is possible that I was not

8 privy to this plan but I do not think that that would be

9 the case. It had not been discussed at all apart from

10 the issue around the housing benefit and council tax

11 function which the Director of Corporate Services had

12 made it very clear that he would like that to be part of

13 his territory, in terms of the rest of the housing

14 arrangement.

15 MR GARNHAM: The position paper that you and the Chair of

16 Social Services prepared for the Joint Review in 1998

17 certainly proceeds on the assumption that the department

18 is to remain whole, does it not?

19 MS RICHARDSON: And that would have been --

20 MR GARNHAM: Does it not?

21 MS RICHARDSON: Yes, it does, and that would have been the

22 view I think within the wider department and certainly

23 in the Senior Management Team of the department.

24 MR GARNHAM: And considerable length was gone to to describe

25 the benefits of the joint working of that department.

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1 Can I take you to that, volume 15 page 139. This is the

2 introduction that comes above your signature to the

3 position paper.

4 MS RICHARDSON: Which paragraph specifically?

5 MR GARNHAM: Second paragraph on that page on the left-hand

6 column:

7 "As a joint Housing and Social Services Department

8 we are better placed to be more proactive and responsive

9 to the effects of deprivation through the provision of

10 welfare rights advice and take up campaigns and ensuring

11 housing solutions are addressed as part of a wider

12 package. We are proud of our successes in developing

13 integrated housing and social care solutions, many of

14 which have received external recognition," and then you

15 list some examples.


17 MR GARNHAM: Page 143. Into the body of the position

18 statement, paragraph 3, "Merged Housing and Social

19 Services Department":

20 "The merger was part of a major reorganisation in

21 1993. It separated purchasing and provider functions in

22 line with community care guidance. Integration has made

23 service planning and delivery more cohesive by combining

24 all provider services for older people in one division

25 and managing jointly homelessness services and adults

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1 commissioning. An independent evaluation of the changes

2 was recently reported on positively in a report by

3 Bristol."

4 Then 146, please. When asked a question by the

5 Joint Review Team about significant events in the past,

6 the one you cite is the merger of Housing and Social

7 Services and you take us back to the paragraph that we

8 have already looked at.

9 The impression given in that position paper, and

10 there are other occasions when you point out the

11 benefits of a joint department, the position that

12 appears to have been adopted was that this was

13 a positive thing which had benefits in the past and

14 would go on benefiting Haringey.

15 MS RICHARDSON: That is my personal view. It is not

16 necessarily an easy arrangement to manage but it clearly

17 does have real and positive benefits for service users.

18 I think what Haringey was able to do in relation to

19 community care users was outstanding and comparable with

20 the best that was going on in the country. I think what

21 we did for care leavers in terms of making sure that

22 their needs of accommodation were sorted and so on was

23 the sort of product of some of that work.

24 MR GARNHAM: Yes, and the Joint Review appeared to have

25 followed your observations in this regard, and too

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1 praised the fact that it operated as a joint department.

2 Yet it must have been during this period or shortly

3 afterwards on your evidence that the decision was taken

4 that it would be better to split.

5 MS RICHARDSON: But I cannot help you with that, it was not

6 a discussion that I was party to at any time during my

7 time in Haringey.

8 MR GARNHAM: Do you now regard the decision to split as

9 a good idea?

10 MS RICHARDSON: I am not party or privileged to all of the

11 reasons why that change was made so I do not think it

12 would be fair for me to comment.

13 MR GARNHAM: I do not know. You were there as Director of

14 the joint department up until beginning of 2000. You

15 saw and describe in some detail the advantages of joint

16 working. I am not sure I understand why you cannot

17 comment on whether or not it is a good idea.

18 MS RICHARDSON: I have a personal preference for integrating

19 services where that is possible.

20 MR GARNHAM: So your preference would have been to maintain

21 the joint department?

22 MS RICHARDSON: That would have been probably my personal

23 preference but there may well have been good counter and

24 prevailing reasons at the time why that was not

25 possible.

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1 MR GARNHAM: There was no suggestion, was there, to the

2 Joint Review Team that it was being contemplated as

3 a possibility that the two departments would split up?

4 MS RICHARDSON: There was no suggestion because there was

5 not one.

6 MR GARNHAM: On your evidence that is the case. Mr Singh

7 paints a somewhat different picture. In any event it

8 was never suggested to the Joint Review, was it, that

9 the department might be imminently splitting?

10 MS RICHARDSON: No, it was certainly not suggested to them.

11 MR GARNHAM: What practical difference do you think is made

12 by a split for service provision in a case such as

13 Victoria's where there is an obvious and significant

14 housing element to the case being put before Haringey?

15 MS RICHARDSON: Sorry, could you repeat that question?

16 I thought I knew where you were when you started.

17 MR GARNHAM: I want to know what practical difference

18 splitting or not splitting the department makes in

19 a case like Victoria's where the people coming into

20 Social Services' office are raising concerns both about

21 childcare and -- that is not very well phrased. Both

22 about child welfare and housing.

23 MS RICHARDSON: I think you are hitting on the area in which

24 we were not as far developed as we might have been. In

25 general terms my experience was, including through the

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1 time I was there, and the Joint Review picked this up,

2 the ability of a social worker to ring somebody in

3 Housing and get a response on a general needs housing

4 issue -- which is what we were talking about here as

5 opposed to a special needs housing issue -- was probably

6 better than is in many places where those arrangements

7 do not exist, and certainly if there was a problem,

8 clearly we had the management clout to intervene and

9 I am aware of cases where there had been a general needs

10 housing issue and we wanted to try and work to keep

11 a family together and there had not been the appropriate

12 response. Clearly managerially in those situations the

13 different sets of considerations could be arbitrated

14 upon, not usually at my level I have to say, usually at

15 lower level, but that was done quite successfully.

16 I think where we had made most progress was dealing

17 with the range of specialist needs, including for those

18 of asylum seekers if I might say, where we had spent

19 a lot of time and energy but we had done really, really

20 well and we would not I do not think as easily have

21 managed that in the context of a separation.

22 MR GARNHAM: So for dealing with a case like Victoria's or

23 Kouao and Victoria's as it was then being presented, the

24 previous arrangements you think would be more

25 advantageous than the present ones?

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1 MS RICHARDSON: That is my personal view. The potential was

2 there. I am not saying that we had fully exploited it

3 and I think the Joint Review had picked that up to be

4 fair, that we had more work to do.

5 MR GARNHAM: The effect of the changes that we have called

6 restructuring inside Social Services was to bring all

7 Children's Services under one manager I think?

8 MS RICHARDSON: Yes, can I say one thing before we get to

9 that point because the other issue is about how many

10 restructurings and when they started and finished.

11 MR GARNHAM: I will not let you deal with that now because

12 I want you to answer my questions and we will come on to

13 points you want to make later. I understand you may

14 have things to say and the chance will come because

15 Miss Lawson will have a chance to question you but we

16 have limited time and I want to work through the

17 questions I have for you please.

18 Restructuring on this occasion had the effect, did

19 it, of bringing all Children's Services together under

20 a single manager?

21 MS RICHARDSON: For the period immediately

22 following March 1999 after the main consultation and

23 subject to some final consultation that we undertook,

24 the committee report I think that you just presented me

25 with says that essentially structure was presented to

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1 members down to the third tier, although there were some

2 issues that still needed to be resolved, and that

3 consultation would give me in a sense a free hand to

4 resolve that with members' approval.

5 So the key thing that had been decided in the

6 context of the report that went to the March Social

7 Services Committee and had previously gone to

8 the February Housing Committee was the overall structure

9 and that included the notion that we would have a single

10 Children's Service.

11 MR GARNHAM: And that was going to be a single under

12 a single manager who was going to be Carol Wilson?

13 MS RICHARDSON: That is correct, I did not know that at that

14 point.

15 MR GARNHAM: A single manager and it turned out that was

16 Carol Wilson.

17 MS RICHARDSON: That is correct.

18 MR GARNHAM: What were the other significant changes in

19 management arrangements that you refer to in 3.3 of your

20 statement?

21 MS RICHARDSON: Within Social Services or more generally?

22 MR GARNHAM: No, Social Services.

23 MS RICHARDSON: The other changes were about bringing

24 together the whole of community care commissioning which

25 had been separated into elders and the other specialist

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1 groups previously and the primary reason for wanting to

2 do that is so that we got some equity in the

3 arrangements. There were gross disparity.

4 MR GARNHAM: I do not need trouble you with this, it is not

5 our direct concern. If you can give me the headline

6 points of the other major changes.

7 MS RICHARDSON: The other two changes that were part of the

8 same -- sorry three changes that were part of the same

9 debate and came out of the discussion that members

10 wanted us to have, one was to -- so they were not

11 unrelated to each other.

12 MR GARNHAM: Just the headlines.

13 MS RICHARDSON: Within Children's Services, first of all

14 there was going to be an attempt to reduce the

15 bombardment on the front line and there were two bits to

16 that although one of them was a thing I think we wanted

17 to do in its own right. One was to take the service to

18 asylum seeking children and young people out of the

19 front line and we created, partly because of that

20 bombardment but also because we thought we would get

21 better returns for the service generally and manage it

22 in a more economic and sensible way, a single asylum

23 service, and the other one did help to reduce the burden

24 on the front line but also I think created a better

25 service for users and that was to have a single children

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1 with disabilities function.

2 Previously some bits of that service had been

3 together but the commissioning bit had been sort of

4 separated out into what had historically been district

5 offices so that specialist social workers joined

6 a single integrated team under a third tier manager.

7 MR GARNHAM: In the area of your department that we are

8 primarily concerned with I think it is right that there

9 was also an intention to reduce the number of team

10 managers.

11 MS RICHARDSON: No, there was not per se an intention to

12 reduce the number of team managers, that was not the

13 starting point. Can I say all of the discussion that we

14 just had was done with the widespread approval of staff.

15 There were no dissenting voices of any significance. It

16 was in that sense an uncontentious process. Those

17 changes I have described in Children's Services were

18 actually welcomed by staff.

19 MR GARNHAM: Now can you tell us about the reduction in team

20 management?

21 MS RICHARDSON: I think it is important to get the context

22 in which the second discussion took place. The second

23 discussion was in the context of trying to rationalise

24 and deal with I think five issues that needed to be

25 dealt with after we had taken out asylum seeking

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1 children and we had taken out the disabilities. First

2 of all there was an issue of gross inequity in different

3 sorts of ways and inconsistency. There was no guarantee

4 if you went through one front door that you would get

5 the same service with similar circumstances going

6 through the next front door.

7 So there was an intention about consolidating and

8 rationalising that service so that we had that sort of

9 equity that we had greater consistency, that we had the

10 same working practices applying to the different

11 district offices. That was not true at that point. And

12 that we dealt with the work in balance between what was

13 known as East and West.

14 MR GARNHAM: I am going to ask you about that and I will

15 come on to that but this is not an opportunity for you

16 to tell your story. You have prepared a statement that

17 does that. I have questions arising out of your

18 statement that I would like you to help me with.

19 MS RICHARDSON: I would like and want to be able to do that

20 with respect but I did not put in a second statement

21 because I knew you did not want one and you have asked

22 subsequent questions that I have not in fact addressed.

23 MR GARNHAM: Yes, if we get to the end of this

24 cross-examination and the end of this examination there

25 may be things you still need to tell us and you will

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1 have the chance to do that, but for the time being --

2 MS RICHARDSON: Can I deal with the issue about the number

3 of teams?

4 MR GARNHAM: Please.

5 MS RICHARDSON: The number of teams was an attempt to play

6 to the strengths that we had. In terms of the

7 supervision arrangements, first of all I believed that

8 having essentially two Duty teams operating in one

9 district office was a recipe for disaster, that the

10 ability to guarantee that things did not fall between

11 the two -- and we have seen some evidence that that is

12 in fact what happened, but that was one of the main

13 reasons for wanting to go to both a single duty and

14 assessment system in each of the offices.

15 MR GARNHAM: That is in place of the A and B teams?

16 MS RICHARDSON: That is correct and that they were going to

17 report to the same manager so we got the same standards

18 of practice. You will have appreciated from other

19 evidence that we had very major concerns about the

20 standards of practice in the Hornsey District Office and

21 the intention was to try and deal with those duty and

22 assessment systems.

23 The other restructuring that was referred to had

24 attempted to do something about the referrals and

25 whatever previously as a consequence of the previous

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1 children's inspection at the back end of 1998, so there

2 had been some rationalisation but it clearly had not

3 gone far enough.

4 MR GARNHAM: Back to my original question.

5 MS RICHARDSON: I have dealt with half of your question.

6 MR GARNHAM: Team managers, what was the change in numbers?

7 MS RICHARDSON: I have dealt with half of your question with

8 respect.

9 MR GARNHAM: What was the change in numbers?

10 MS RICHARDSON: The change in numbers you are calling

11 a post -- we created as many managers in the subsequent

12 structure as there were in the first.

13 MR GARNHAM: Did the number of team managers reduce?

14 MS RICHARDSON: The number of people called Team Manager

15 reduced but there was a change in title and a change in

16 the management responsibilities for other post holders.

17 MR GARNHAM: From what to what for team managers?


19 MR GARNHAM: How many team managers were there before and

20 how many after?

21 MS RICHARDSON: There were six team managers but they were

22 a more responsible role than the previous role but they

23 were also --

24 MR GARNHAM: I want to know numbers for the moment. How

25 many team managers were there before and how many after?

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1 MS RICHARDSON: There were 12 posts, so -- though those

2 12 posts were not filled.

3 MR GARNHAM: Six afterwards?

4 MS RICHARDSON: Six afterwards, but there was increase in

5 the management capacity in the establishment for

6 management capacity overall.

7 MR GARNHAM: That was done by changing the title and role of

8 the people who had previously been called senior

9 practitioners?

10 MS RICHARDSON: That is correct.

11 MR GARNHAM: Who thereafter took on a more managerial role?

12 MS RICHARDSON: That was the original intention. In fact

13 the original proposal which the staff were not very

14 happy with, and I mean I have to say I was not involved

15 in these negotiations, I know about them because they

16 were reported to me and I had clearly correspondence and

17 representation outside of the negotiation process, but

18 my understanding is that the original proposal to

19 have -- which I was quite keen on personally -- which

20 was to have six team managers and to have six deputy

21 team managers would have then left a senior practitioner

22 role potentially but that was not popular, and the

23 reason it was not popular as I understand it was not

24 from the team managers, I do not think the team managers

25 objected to that as such at all; it was from the people

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1 who were senior practitioners who did not want to take

2 additional management responsibility.

3 MR GARNHAM: Thank you. In this restructuring in the areas

4 where we are most concerned how much role did you have

5 and how much role did others have? Were you the

6 architect?

7 MS RICHARDSON: What, in terms of the particular --

8 MR GARNHAM: In terms for example of the changes from 12

9 team managers to six and the increase --

10 MS RICHARDSON: None of those were originally my

11 recommendations. I was consulted. I had set the

12 standards and the sort of boundaries of what we wanted

13 to achieve. My view was, is that six team managers and

14 six deputy team managers in the context of the other

15 arrangements we had would have been adequate. It was

16 not popular. The reason: I was looking for the

17 accountability and the lines of responsibility which

18 I did not feel I had in the current arrangements.

19 MR GARNHAM: In the model originally adopted you had some

20 input but you were not --

21 MS RICHARDSON: I had an input at subsequent stages in that

22 I was wanting to test the model against the standards

23 that we had set and so one of the key standards was

24 about accountability.

25 MR GARNHAM: What were the weaknesses as you saw it in the

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