Rumour has it that the blame game is well underway at RCT Council as they try to mop up the mess following the judicial review decision that ruled the Council had acted unlawfully in making its decision to cut nursery education for three year olds.
Outside of the Labour group too residents in social media networks are calling for heads to roll with Director of Education Chris Bradshaw and Cabinet Member Eudine Hanagan the favourite targets. Understandable as the nursery education changes were the main cuts that made the headlines, and therefore you would, on the face of it, think that the people in charge of Education in RCT were to blame.
Yet the report that was presented to Cabinet which was later deemed inadequate enough to lead to an "unlawful" decision being made was not written by the Education Director. In fact he is not mentioned anywhere in it.
The report was actually in the name of, and presented to Cabinet by, the then Director of Corporate Services who has since taken up the post of Chief Executive.
His name was attached to the document which presented the options to the Cabinet in the first place, and the all too brief follow up which the Judge criticised as not giving sufficient information to enable a proper decision to be made.
During the course of the court proceedings the Judge expressed surprise that there was so little detail in the report. Officers are after all paid to offer advice to Members so that they can make informed decisions.
This decision leaves the new £141K a year Chief Executive with a considerable degree of egg on his face. The Cabinet are of course to blame for not asking the right questions and making a decision based on what was to many of us an obviously inadequate report. However, there was criticism that they 'misdirected' themselves by not asking the correct questions, but that a lack of information as to their statutory duties meant they did not know which questions to ask.
Campaign Manager RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats