Following the 2019 election and subsequent defections the composition of the council is as follows:

PartySeats
Conservative14
Liberal Democrats12
Independent10

Voters put the Gories in charge of the council therefore they must also take some responsibility for the following monstrous policy narrative…. At a time when so many are struggling to heat and eat Torbay council have adopted a policy of removal and exclusion. *

Removal of children from homes struggling to heat and eat.

Exclusion of people from fostering who are struggling to heat and eat. What does that say about the Tory response?

It says you are not good enough to be a parent if you struggle under their collusion with the rich and their heartless policies.

Ellie Waugh, a local resident could not believe her eyes when sent the above by a friend.

“God how has this come to this.

This Tory government has destroyed families in this country with their greed, their bigoted ideas and their loathing of the working class.

To think if you’re poor you have a chance of losing your kids.

Help the families out, help them out and leave their kids alone.

We are now back in the Victorian times truly when kids were taken away by charitable organisations because they were poor.

God help us this post on Torbay council says it all …..

Just sat and cried because now it’s a crime to be poor. We should all be angry. This is heartbreaking.”

A return to Victorian times indeed.

Another member of the public expressed her disappointment at the local social services who she argues appear complicit.

Carol Lewis stated:

“If this it true then social workers in Torbay council should hang their heads in shame. This is not what you were educated to. Where’s your advocacy on behalf of those facing enormous financial, social and health challenges? When are you going to challenge the system which requires you to respond to poverty with cruelty and a lack of concern for human rights? I’m appalled and hoping it’s just an advertising grab line.”

Perhaps Torbay council, Torbay social services and the people of Torbay who voted for the Gories would like to explain why such a frightful phrasing has been implemented and what they are going to do about it.

Torbay council’s official .gov.uk spiel is as follows:

‘Many of our local foster carers in Torbay have described fostering as a ‘gift’ and a ‘privilege’ and said that when you become a foster carer, you join the wider Torbay fostering ‘family’ and have access to not only local council services but a big local peer support network of other foster carers.

As with most other areas, we really need to recruit more foster carers in Torbay and find a loving home for children in care – and that’s where you come in. There are currently 351 looked after children in Torbay, and of these, 226 are living with foster carers. We also need more local foster carers as nearly 40% of looked after children from Torbay live more than 20 miles away from home (compared to a national average of 13%).

Foster carers provide a safe and loving home for children aged 0-18 years who are in our care. Children live with them as part of the family. We have a responsibility to make sure we find the most suitable people to perform this important role.

Children are fostered when they can’t live at home with their birth families. It’s usually a short-term arrangement before a child returns home, moves to relatives or is adopted, but some children remain in long-term foster care until they are 18.

There is a big difference between fostering and adoption. A foster carer knows that the child they are looking after is not theirs and will move on eventually, while an adopter becomes the legal parent of a child forever.

Most of our foster carers live in or around Torbay, which means that the children we look after can stay close to the people and places they know and remain at the same school. Wherever possible, we also try to match children with foster carers who reflect their cultural heritage and other needs. We have increasing numbers of children from all kinds of backgrounds, so we need local foster carers from all walks of life.

As well as fostering being one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things you can do, we have recently had plans approved to increase the amount we pay foster carers and ensure that better training and support is in place.’

Make your own minds up folks.

Penny Lane

*Update and correction:

The Lib Dems went into a coalition with the Independents and got overall control from the Tories. It’s been like that for almost 4 years and the head of the council is Steve Darling a Liberal Democrat and the vice-chairman is Darren Cowell who is an Independent and who used to be a Labour councillor.

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