Khalid Mahmood MP

Khalid Mahmood MP

The Member of Parliament for Birmingham Perry Barr.

 

 

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Report into the death of kyra Ishaq - 11:30 am, Wed 28th Jul 2010

This week saw the publication of the long awaited Serious Case Review into the death of Kyra Ishaq, who died in Handsworth in 2008 in truly shocking  circumstances. It should be stressed from the outset that whatever failures there were on the part of the authorities it was the guardians of Kyra who were ultimately responsible for her death.  However it is clear from the report and the evidence given in court that the death of Kyra was preventable. Kyra’s school, who deserve a great of credit, tried on numerous occasions to alert the Social Services Department at Birmingham City Council that something was very wrong with the way Kyra was being cared for. They even tried to visit Kyra at home but were refused entry to the property. The report makes clear that if Social Services had listened to the concerns of the school then Kyra could have been saved.
Whilst the report does not change my perception of what went wrong it does provide useful evidence of how information was not properly shared between public bodies. This is a factor of vital importance if we are to stop tragedies like this happening again, action is required now to change the management structure so that priorities are arranged around sharing information. It is also evident in the report that social workers and their management were fearful of antagonising Kyra’s guardians, this led to the needs of the child being forgotten. 
Perhaps the most critical problem at Birmingham Social Services is the recruitment and retention of staff, whilst this problem is not unique to Birmingham it is deeply concerning and requires urgent action. I have argued for many years that Birmingham City Council should work closely with our world class educational institutions to develop social workers. But beyond that the management structure must change so that social workers are properly supported throughout their careers. This report makes clear that there are symptomatic problems within Social Services in Birmingham, problems that cannot be ignored and require urgent and comprehensive action.

More on AV - 01:55 pm, Mon 12th Jul 2010

Read more on my opinions on AV .... HERE

AV - Why i am voting NO - 11:14 am, Tue 6th Jul 2010

Quite frankly I am appalled that at a time when cuts of 40% in government departments are being discussed and the Building schools for the Future programme is being cancelled we are being asked to vote in a referendum to change our voting system, a system that has served us well since universal suffrage nearly a hundred years ago. The proposed change to Alternative Voting (AV) will do little  other than make our elections more complicated and costly. I want to present voters with a clear choice at election time not a messy compromise. The danger of AV is that it promotes candidates who are the least offensive rather than those who are interesting and radical. If we really want the House of Commons to be filled with bland members of parliament whose priorities are simply to be disliked by the least number of people then AV is the way to go. That is why I shall be voting NO in the referendum and why I will campaigning to try and get as many people a possible to do the same. The Av referendum is, I believe, a distraction from what we should be concentrating on. Not once during the election campaign did I meet a single voter who wanted to talk about changing our electoral system. Instead they were concerned with jobs, education, health and the economy these are the issues we should be discussing.

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