Baby P ‘fixer’ called into Northamptonshire

Baby P. Photo by ITV News/PA Wire
Baby P. Photo by ITV News/PA Wire

The man who turned around the London council at the centre of the Baby Peter case has been brought in to head Northamptonshire’s safeguarding board as the county tackles a crisis within child protection.

The Chron can reveal that Kevin Crompton, chief executive of Haringey Council until last October, will be announced as the independent chair of the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board Northamptonshire (LSCBN).

The news comes ahead of the publication of serious failings within child protection, which were uncovered during an Ofsted inspection of police, social services and the NHS. The previous chair, Janet Galley, left late last year.

Mr Crompton’s work in Haringey included improving children’s services following the tragic death of Peter Connelly, who died aged 17 months in 2007, following missed signs of abuse.

Inspectors said in 2011 that Haringey Council now had ‘adequate’ child safeguarding but ‘good’ leadership and a ‘good’ capacity to improve.

County councillor John McGhee (Lab, Kingswood), said: “I welcome this appointment to the board. I believe we are in such trouble we need expert help in leading safeguarding. I have no doubt that he will have a difficult job ahead of him, but we clearly need his experience.

“Lack of children’s safeguarding experience in leadership positions at Northamptonshire County Council – due to jobs losses – is one of the themes of the Ofsted report.”

Mr Crompton, 56, who lives near Coventry, currently works as an independent consultant, but is also chairman of the equivalent safeguarding boards in the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton.

Among the nine councils the father-of-three has worked for is Solihull Metropolitan Council, from where the last two chiefs at County Hall have also come. He was director of children’s services there until 2010.

It is understood Mr Crompton has accepted his new Northamptonshire role and that only the paperwork needs to be completed.

Councillor Tony Clarke (Ind, Castle) said councillors ought to have been consulted about the appointment.

He said: “We have never been consulted, therefore we don’t know if the appointment is good, bad or indifferent. Nobody even knew that Janet Galley left last year until the last few weeks.

“As councillors, we are corporate parents, yet how do we ask questions when we aren’t told what is going on?”

ey findings of the Ofsted report into failings in child protection in Northamptonshire are set to be revealed later this month.

It follows the Chron’s exclusive report last week that revealed inspectors had been invited into the NHS, Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Police as a pilot of a new type of inspection. As a result, Ofsted said beforehand it would not publish the full report as there was a chance its findings would not be valid.

However, the issues it found were so serious it sent inspectors back to Northamptonshire last week.

That report is set to be published in full on the Ofsted website in due course.