Calls for third Northamptonshire serious case review to be published

Northamptonshire county council Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Northamptonshire County Council has apologised to the families of two murdered children

A further serious case review involving a council that was found to have failed to protect two murdered children should be published, a former MP has said.

Two damning reports into the separate killings of a two-year-old and a one-year-old were released on Wednesday.

But a review into a case in which a boy was "locked in room not fit for a human" remains confidential.

The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Board said it "was not in the best interests of the children" to release the report.

Sally Keeble, former Labour MP for Northampton North, said: "The lack of transparency helps no-one."

The review looked into the case of a boy, from Northampton, who was locked in a room, beaten, banned from speaking and fed old food, with the parents jailed for neglect last month.

Professionals described it as the worst case of child cruelty they had seen in 25 years.

Image copyright Office of the Children's Commission
Image caption Anne Longfield said Northamptonshire County Council failed to protect the most vulnerable children

In a statement, the safeguarding board said "the welfare of children must remain our focus".

It said the children in the case had "suffered considerably" and publishing the report would cause them to "suffer further upset and anxiety".

Ms Keeble said an edited version of the review could be released to protect the identity of the children.

She said: "It is important that the public understands the role of the local services and the steps they took to safeguard these children."

Reviews earlier this week in the murders of Dylan Tiffin-Brown, two, and Evelyn-Rose Muggleton, one, revealed a "dysfunctional safeguarding system" at Northamptonshire County Council, according to children's commissioner for England Anne Longfield.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Dylan Tiffin-Brown was deemed by carers as "unlikely to suffer harm" before he was killed

Director of children's services Sally Hodges at the safeguarding board said disciplinary action had been taken against social workers as a result of their actions in these cases.

Chairman of Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board Keith Makin has subsequently announced he is standing down.

There is also pressure on Conservative leader of the county council Matt Golby, who was responsible for children's services at the time, to resign.

However, Mr Golby said he stood by the department and had "acted in the most diligent way".

In the Commons, Labour MP Valerie Vaz called on the government to make a statement about the serious case reviews, and "what steps are being taken to ensure it never happens again".

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