The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has called on the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas to closely monitor children's services in Neath Port Talbot following the publication of a highly critical inspection report.
Although the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales said that there had been improvements in the Council's children and young people's service, they identified a number of factors which they said 'impact on the authority's ability to provide a safe, high quality responsive service.'
These factors include the loss of experienced practitioners, a continuing high turnover of staff, the reliance on agency staff, high case loads for social workers, an increase in the volume and complexity of referrals, and inconsistent case recording.
The inspectorate concluded: 'Taken together these factors pose a significant risk in respect of ensuring the welfare and safety of children in the authority.'
Mr Black said: "I am very concerned about this report and the picture it paints of the way that Neath Port Talbot Children's Services operates. I have dealt with a constituent recently, whose experience of working with Neath Port Talbot's Childrens' Services raised many questions about how that section operates, its processes and the way that they manage risk.
In fact I was so concerned that I met with the Deputy Minister to ask her to intervene. I know too that there have been a number of serious case reviews that also ask serious questions of the department.
"I will now be seeking assurances that there will be much closer monitoring of the weaknesses identified by this report and that a further inspection is held within the next 12 months so as to confirm improvements are continuing to be made.
The Welsh Government must not rule out a direct intervention if things do not improve."
This really does open a "Can of Worms" for the reluctant and cowardly Councillor's Keith Davies and Frank Little the two Liberal Democrat representatives on Neath Port Talbot Council.
It also brings the whole of the Welsh Assembly into the spotlight all of whom know about this dreadful cover up and the abuse that Neath Port Talbot Council Social Services have inflicted on Linda,her daughter and her family.
Below is a letter sent to Linda from Peter Black AM
In the letter Mr Black constantly states that he is unable to take the matter any further due to the terms of the injunction.
Well Mr Black I have some good news for you under"Public Interest Law" and other laws I have at the risk of a "penal sentence" to myself broken this " false, fabricated and illegal " injunction so you have nothing to worry about when raising this matter in the near future.
As you and your fellow Assembly Members know "No injunction can ever be taken out to cover up for criminal acts."
You are all aware of this.
You all received the press release regarding the perjury that the former Welsh Inspector of Social Services Mr David Johnston committed by entering " false and fraudulent " evidence into an illegal court.
There is even more damning evidence regarding the illegal actions of Mr David Johnston that will soon be published by a member of the team in the near future.
We look forward to meeting you along with members of the Lewis family in the New Year so that this injustice can finally be exposed for the despicable,heartless crime that it really is.
Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats make the following response to the recent press release by a far right political organisation:
It was established at a court hearing in Cardiff that an unauthorised act of removal of a minor took place in the United States, and that Councillor Keith Davies was unreasonably denied access to relevant files by officers of Neath Port Talbot county borough. Liberal Democrat members of the council made it clear that we dissociated ourselves from the council's actions then and subsequently. In view of the injunction which we understand still holds in relation to events in the United Kingdom, it would be irresponsible to go further. However, people should not be seduced into voting for a party, whose ethos is anything but democratic, which is flouting court orders and which is taking advantage of a hard case to its own ends.
Councillor Keith Davies and fellow Liberal Democrat council members remain ready to assist Linda Lewis at any time should she call on us to do so. Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats are committed to improvements in children's services in Neath Port Talbot.
This in itself makes interesting reading as Neath Port Talbot Liberal Democrats as a group are admitting that their own Council has indeed acted illegally and that a crime has been committed by this local authority.
Well everyone who has any knowledge of the " Justice 4 Linda Lewis" campaign knows this.
Taking away the very childish and pathetic attack on myself and the usual "Far Right" nonsense that always comes to the fore by the Liberal left my question to Neath Port Talbot Liberal Democrat Councillor's is this.
What have you done to help Linda and her family in the two and a half years since as you say "It was established at a court hearing in Cardiff that an unauthorised act of removal of a minor took place in the United States." You were there and witnessed it with your own eyes.
The answer is nothing.
I do not need to elaborate any further as an email has been sent to the Liberal Democrats in Neath Port Talbot by the same friend and colleague who advised me of this article.
It is published below.
To email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Sir or Madam
I refer to the article entitled “Statement about a child” on the Neath Aberavon Lib Dem blogspot.
Firstly you state“It was established at a court hearing in Cardiff that an unauthorised act of removal of a minor took place in the United States, and that Councillor Keith Davies was unreasonably denied access to relevant files by officers of Neath Port Talbot county borough. Liberal Democrat members of the councilmade it clearthat we dissociated ourselves from the council's actions then and subsequently.”
Ok. I take it that you are admitting by this statement that Neath Port Talbot Council have acted illegally and did “kidnap” Linda’s daughter without proper documentation.
Well this quite simply means that your Council has acted illegally and you know it.
So what are you doing about it? Nothing at all.
Secondly you state “In view of the injunction which we understand still holds in relation to events in the United Kingdom, it would be irresponsible to go further. “
I am sorry “Injunction, what injunction?” You know damn fine that ”No injunction can ever be taken out to cover up for criminal acts.” You know damn fine that this is the case here and you do nothing.
What planet are you guys on?
Thirdly you state.” However, people should not be seduced into voting for a party, whose ethos is anything but democratic, which is flouting court orders and which is taking advantage of a hard case to its own ends.”
Why do you insist on trying to make cheap political points instead of putting your rather tepid and flaccid support for Linda Lewis into positive action?
The so called court order that Councillor Edwards has as you say “flouted” has been proven by his actions to be illegally gained. It is perfectly clear.
“Former Welsh Inspector of Social Services David Johnston entered into an illegal and unlawful court false evidence stating that Linda Lewis was about to kill her child. This was strongly denied on two occasions by Miss Penny Mellor.” Linda and Penny Mellor did not even know that this unlawful court was even taking place.
You know Linda and her family and you know what good people they are.
Thank God that Councillor Edwards supported by over 3000 people who are active within the “Justice 4 Linda Lewis Campaign “worldwide and with the full support of Britain First (nothing to do with the BNP by the way so get your facts right) has the guts and drive that you so obviously lack to bring this injustice to an end. So stop being so bloody pompous.
Finally you state “Councillor Keith Davies and fellow Liberal Democrat council members remain ready to assist Linda Lewis at any time should she call on us to do so.”
How dare you come across as so self serving and self important?
You should have taken the initiative and never walked away considering the level of injustice that you have witnessed.
What are you doing as a group???
Are you actively looking for support for Linda amongst fellow Councillors in Neath Port Talbot Council?
Are you still trying to get the valid paperwork that you have not been shown even though you know it doesn’t exist?
Are you making press statements and pushing Linda’s case through the media?
Have you as a group made a statement in support of Linda ?
Have you spoken to Kirsty Williams or any of your AMS with regards to this?
Are you looking for a Welsh Assembly investigation into this crime?
I am afraid not you abandoned Linda and her family and when the going got tough and cast her aside.
The “Justice 4 Linda Lewis Campaign “needs “doers not doughnuts” to help her get the justice that she, her daughter and her family deserve.
Personally you lot of in my opinion are better off out of it and I will tell Linda this the next time I speak to her.
News just in that Emma West pleaded Not guilty at a court hearing in Croydon just a few hours ago. After an adjournment to discover why she had pleaded "Not Guilty" (because she is innocent and there was no crime) they have remanded her in custody for a further four weeks.
The case will now be heard on the 3rd of January. Merry Christmas Emma, hope your children are comfortable with social services.
'This was ugly and reflects very badly on all four of you.
'Those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside, but I'm going to suspend the sentence.'
Despite, the fact that the moslems screamed"Kill the White Slag", the Dhimmi Judge,Robert Brown, who will one day answer for this judgement, refused to charge them with racial aggravation and although he could have sentenced them to five years imprisonment, because the moslem women had been drinking and claimed that because of their religion, they were not used to its effects he would show leniency.
What sort of excuse is that?
COMPLAIN TO SOCIAL SERVICES!
This woman has been arrested, imprisoned, her kids seized by social services, and she has been subjected to psychiatric tests...all because she mouthed off on a tram.
Meanwhile, last week, a couple who raped a one month old baby have been released on bail!
Perhaps the worst thing to come out of this drama is that Miss West has had her children snatched from her by the parasitical social services.
Please click on either of the following buttons to complain:
It would be easy to laugh at Chris Nsamba, founder of the African Space Research Programme.
For a start, his research centre is based in his back garden where there's not much evidence of the type of sophisticated tools and machinery I'd imagine you need for this kind of work.
When I was there, most of the engineers were equipped with just sandpaper and paint brushes.
They haven't even started work on the shuttle yet, at the moment it's more of a theoretical project.
I've got a jet engine on order so I'm planning to build a tunnel, put the engine at one end and when I throw a guy in, he'll float
They have begun to build an aircraft though, apparently to test their engineering skills before they begin work on a shuttle which they hope will send a Ugandan cosmonaut into space.
The plane they've built is sandwiched tightly, nose-to-tail, between two single-storey buildings which house Chris and his team. It is painted blue and white and has the Ugandan flag proudly displayed on the side of the cockpit.
It's far from complete, there's still no engine - just a pile of bricks to simulate weight, and a mass of wires hang out underneath.
But it still seems like quite an achievement and if this hadn't been a space programme I'd have been pretty impressed.
Chris believes that if his team is successful, this will still be the first aeroplane designed and built in Uganda.
Chris's team is made up of volunteers, mainly engineering students, and when I visited all of them were busy at work, each furiously rubbing away at the fuselage with sandpaper.
All except for one man whose job appeared to be to paint the same spot on top of the cockpit over and over again.
A lack of local facilities is hampering the project
I asked Chris how far away he thinks he is from his dream of sending a manned shuttle into orbit.
"Let me tell you", he replied, "building a space shuttle is a big job." He thinks he'll have it done in four to six years.
Standing in the garden, watching the team labouring away beneath a jackfruit tree, tarpaulin fence gently flapping in the breeze, I was fighting back cynicism pretty hard.
Uganda is not known to be a big player in space exploration.
In fact, Chris will need to certify the would-be cosmonauts himself as there's no-one else in the country able or qualified to do so.
He's even having to do the training himself.
His course draws heavily on his background as a student of astronomy - he's been teaching them how to calculate the distance between planets for example, telling them what the Karman line is, and educating them about the dangers of re-entry.
A lack of local facilities is hampering the project and I asked Chris how he plans to simulate zero gravity, for example, in Kampala.
"Easy" he said. "I've got a jet engine on order so I'm planning to build a tunnel, put the engine at one end and when I throw a guy in he'll float in a similar way to how he would in space."
Another challenge is finance.
A recent decision in the US to reduce funding to Nasa provoked a public outcry, yet the space agency will still receive many billions this year and next.
The African Space Research Programme relies on donations from its members, of whom there are 600 or so, mainly in Uganda. They'd need to give pretty generously for Chris's craft just to get off the ground, never mind make it into orbit.
The Ugandan flag is proudly displayed on the side of the cockpit
So, it's easy to mock, and to dismiss Chris as a dreamer, and to say that an African space shuttle is a fantasy.
But many Ugandans feel differently, and they look with pride to the country's contribution to space exploration.
Until last month, the first black flight director at Nasa was Kwatsi Alibaruho, a Ugandan national.
The country's president has been known to refer to Alibaruho as an example of what his country's people are capable of achieving.
His father is an academic at a Ugandan university, and according to President Museveni the achievements of his son confound the world's view of Uganda as underdeveloped and backward.
Walking away from the African Space Research Programme, I had to feel some sneaking admiration for Chris's ambition, if not a great deal of confidence that Uganda's first manned space shuttle will be lifting off from Kampala within the decade.
It made me think of a line from a Robert Browning poem: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"