Letter: From pillory to post - with pride

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The Independent Online
Sir: I find it amusing that Beatrix Campbell ('A dangerous place to be young', 22 December) thinks that I have 'surprised and alarmed colleagues for some time', given that I retired from Nottinghamshire Social Services two years ago.

She should also have known that, far from being pilloried (in the 'tumble drier case'), the social workers were praised by the judge. The Independent reported on 12 April 1988 that the judge said:

It is perfectly clear that the social workers were showing a considerable degree of care and keeping a close eye on what was happening. That is a most satisfactory state of affairs and they have to be commended. It is only right that the public should know they obviously took a considerable amount of care; the child perhaps received more supervision than if he had been put on the register.

With regard to the other family, Ms Campbell will be pleased to know that two case conferences were held and all her concerns were addressed.

The Broxtowe Joint Inquiry report had nothing to do with sexual or physical abuse. We addressed the issue of ritual abuse and our findings were subsequently confirmed by both the Rochdale and Orkney inquiries.

I am proud of the fact that after chairing hundreds of cases during my 17 years as Newark area director not a single child suffered further significant harm.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN B. GWATKIN

Brant Broughton, Lincolnshire

22 December

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