The Unite statement said:

“There needs to be a massive financial boost for children’s services in Hull, following today’s (Friday 17 May) damning Ofsted report into the city council’s stewardship of the service.

“Unite, which represents a number of members in the children services’ team, also called for a complete managerial culture change to ensure that transparency and inclusivity are paramount.

“Nine years of unrelenting austerity has seen £120 million axed from services in Hull. The adverse impact has been to increase child poverty and drive more families close to the edge. The Tories’ cruel implementation of universal credit has added to this toxic cocktail.

“Children’s services in Hull have seen a massive increase in demand. In January 2016, Hull had 627 children in care and last week that figure stood at 799.

“The Ofsted report had been due in February, but it has been delayed by three months, while senior management challenged the conclusions of the report. Essentially, the bosses have wasted three months splitting hairs with Ofsted.

“Unite believes this wrangling was more about saving the reputation and careers of senior staff who are largely unchanged since the previous Ofsted inspection in 2014 and also  avoiding the inevitable bad publicity for the council.

“A pile of blame has been heaped unfairly on team managers and frontline staff with suspensions rife. Staff are facing demands and threats to complete tasks - they are shattered and demoralised. Ofsted created this blame culture and is responsible for spreading the havoc it fostered in the education system into social care.

“Unite believes the council’s chief executive Matt Jukes and  Cllr Peter Clark, who leads on children’s services, have not done nearly enough to shore up the service. Despite increasing demands, Mr Jukes and Cllr Clark have presided over year on year cuts to the service’s budget.

“Unite demands an immediate financial boost for Hull’s children’s services to stabilise the situation. All vacant posts should be filled on a permanent basis and the contracts of ludicrously expensive consultants terminated immediately.

“A joint approach with proper professional collaboration must take place to improve the outcomes for children and families in Hull – and this requires a managerial sea change from the very top of the authority.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065


  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.