Professor Eileen Munro has withdrawn her backing for controversial ‘innovation’ powers in the Children and Social Work Bill after concluding they pose a “serious danger”. Munro, whose landmark review of child protection was published in 2011, said government plans to allow councils to seek exemptions from social care legal duties to test new ways of working […]
In a message to MPs, seen by Community Care, Munro said: “I have been reading the debates in Hansard and the submissions about the Social Work and Children Bill. I’ve also been meeting with some of those who oppose the bill and I have reached the conclusion that the power to have exemption from primary and secondary legislation creates more dangers than the benefits it might produce.
“I saw the exemption as allowing the opportunity to test new means of achieving the will of Parliament as expressed in the Children Act and related legislation. The projects would be in the spirit of the legislation and would not override the will of parliament.
“While I understand and respect the motivation of the current government, there is a serious danger in having such wide-reaching powers in statute. Some future Secretary of State might use them in ways that are completely contrary to the current intentions and consequently subvert the will of Parliament.”