By Linda Edwards,
In 2007 my learning disabled daughter who is also on the autistic
spectrum was having her basic needs violated by LBB In House Supported Living
Service. In October 2007 LBB invited bullies, who had not previously delivered
Supported Living Service but were "keen to get into Barnet", to provide the next
Supported Living Service to my daughter.
They either ignored my
daughter daily while they continuously spoke to their friends and family on
their mobile and watched television continuously, put my daughter at risk and
Throughout the period from 2007 to 2011 I made many
complaints and pleaded with Kate Kennally, Director of Adult and Childrens
Social Care and Health to remove them. She refused and my daughter became
Throughout this period I have spoken out within LBB
at every opportunity - Learning Disability Partnership Board meetings, LBB
Carers Conferences, LBB trainings and workshops and every opportunity within
LBB, mainly with the message that the culture is based on lies of spoken and
written words not being put into practice.
I promised KK that if she
didn't change the regime she was presiding over, I would eventually speak
outside of LBB and would ensure their shoddy practice would become public
outside of LBB
What I didn't know at the time was that a tiny seed called
BAPS was born and although struggling with many different issues, BAPS
experienced the same lying and bullying culture as many vulnerable families
under Kate Kennally's rule by fear and intimidation. At the time I believed this
was with the full support of the Council. What I found hard to believe was that
this regime appears to have been driven by Nick Walkley CEO.
Nick Walkley is leaving LBB to let others manage the mess he has led, LBB have
the opportunity to withdraw the One Barnet privatisation fiasco and make Barnet
a local authority in which we can all feel proud to live and work.
Kate Kennally not only disregarded my promise to publicise her unlawful
and bullying regime outside of LBB but in 2010 she informed me I could no longer
be a member of the Learning Disability Partnership Board. Since this time I
have been refused membership of the Autism and Personalisation working parties,
both of which are headed by LBB managers I complained about with issues related
to bullying and intimidation.
Once my daughter's solicitor agreed I can
go public, around mid 2011, just after her threat to Amanda Jackson of a
Judicial Review after she had unlawfully withdrawn my daughters night support
service, my first experience of "coming out" publically was as a guest
contributor in Barnet Eye.
Since then I made a promise that at every
public opportunity related to Social Care and Health I would share the bad
practice of LBB Social Care and Health to Commissioners, Directors of Social
Services, families and Voluntary organisations. I vowed to myself that I would
continue until ALL vulnerable families (not the chosen few) were treated with
respect and given the services their children needed, if necessary by cutting
enormous senior management staff salaries. .
At the same time BAPS was
growing and exposing bad practice in LBB and campaigning against One Barnet
Privatisation led by Nick Walkley CEO that threatens to change the lives of
Barnet residents and workers with such drastic and irreversible outcomes.
Whilst everyone seems to be thinking that Nick Walkley has 'jumped ship' and
left LBB in a mess just prior to major Privatisation contracts being signed, I
have been wondering if some courageous Barnet Councillors have whispered in his
ear that he needs to remove himself so that they can remove the One Barnet
Privatisation Programme. Probably a fantasy but wouldn't it be reassuring to
know that our Councillors really are thinking and caring representatives of
After my first guest article in Barnet Eye
and with Roger's encouragement, I submitted further articles. At the same time I
have been speaking up about LBB Adult Social Care and Health at every Conference
and Training opportunity. Last weekend I attended a course in Oxford "Integrity
in Social Care". At appropriate times, either formally during questions or
informally throughout breaks, I shared how there is so little "Integrity" in LBB
Adult Social Care and Health.
Today I attended a Community Living
Conference at the Directory of Social Change "Legal issues in Social Care" and
again Service Providers, Commissioners, family and paid carers heard about the
unlawful practice to people with learning disabilities and their family carers
What is common to all the times I disclose the shenanigans of
LBB is that:
*People in the care sector from all over the UK, whether
receiving, providing or commissioning services are now hearing about LBB Adult
Social Care and Health horrid regime under the control of Nick Walkley and
Kate Kennally and
*On every occasion after disclosing my daughters and
other family carers experiences, I have been approached by family or paid carers
or advocates who either need advice or support with the same LBB regime or
people who offer to support our family carers who are still being intimidated
Today I felt both delighted and saddened to be asked
"Isn't Barnet where an American Director came here to make a film about the
people of Barnet?".
Delighted because the promise I made to Kate
Kennally to expose her hypocritical regime if she didn't change the culture to
serve vulnerable people rather than service Nick Walkley and LBB, together with
the campaigning by such amazing people in BAPS is clearly being heard from
people throughout UK. .
Saddened because my family are five
generation Barnet residents and I did not want to feel disloyal to Barnet.
Unfortunately. LBB have betrayed us all.
Linda Edwards is a family carer and was featured in the film Barnet - A Billion Pound Gamble (http://billionpoundgamble.co.uk/). Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye.