Aug 05 2016

Harrow Council Early Intervention Service Redesign – Jobs cut, services axed

harrow_council_broken_2As we touched upon in a previous post, Harrow’s Early Intervention Service – a key part of Children’s Services – is currently going through what the council has called a ‘redesign’ which will result in the loss of nearly 30 jobs, and a ‘saving’ of £682,000 (almost 30%) in it’s budget. So, with around half the jobs in the department being slashed, and a third of the cash flow drying up (presumably to fund payrises for others in Lockwood’s management team?) was the review done fairly, properly and transparently? Not according to some.

A raft of documents shared on condition of anonymity with iharrow seem to show a somewhat skewed review of the project teams work. To quote just a few paragraphs from a document collating the response from staff on the consultation:

  • The audit carried out of just 15 EIS (Early Intervention Service) cases highlights only negative, bad practice and concludes that there are no demonstrable outcomes for families. This is a drastically different conclusion to the full detailed analysis on all EIS cases carried out and presented by the Service Manager in October 2015 which concluded that 81.6% of children and young people demonstrating improved outcomes in at least 4 categories identified through the Children’s Journey Tool (In last quarter – excellent outcomes).
  • EIS Management acknowledge that the new structure will leave a significant cohort of vulnerable families that currently engage with EIS practitioners without any support, yet this was not highlighted. Management have stated that this “gap” in services will need to be met outside of the new EIS structure…It is not a saving to decide not to deliver this support when another arm of Children’s Service will have to deliver it under a new guise.
  • There has been a clear lack of consultation with partners. Given the significant impact on CIN (Children in Need) and their current work with EIS, their staff group have not been involved in helping to shape the redesign. The 2014 consultation did not ask families for their views on EIS.
  • The new proposal states that certain services will continue (e.g. parenting programmes, mentoring) but there is no resource in the new structure to deliver these.
  • The EQIA assessment is flawed as it failed to identify that 8 of the 12 posts proposed for deletion are from BAME group and consequently no mitigation has been put in place to minimise the adverse impact of this cohort of staff.
  • The proposed new structure again directly favours Children Centre managers… Hilary O’Byrne, for example, is one of the designers of the new look EIS. Her daughter is reportedly a Children’s Centre Manager.

But if that’s not bad enough, it’s the blinkered response from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Sachin Shah. When this proposal was discussed, and rubber-stamped at cabinet, what was Shah’s response to the looming disaster? This:


Original tweet here, until it suddenly disappears.

We asked young Sachin how axing half the staff, offloading work to other over-worked teams, spreading the remaining staff to the four corners of the borough and slashing their budget by a third would “help disadvantaged families.” No response.

You can read the consultation pack here. If you’re a LinkedIn member, you can read all about the author, here.


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  1. F.D.Billson

    All very depressing . How nice it would be to have a council that actually has the benefit of tax paying residents in mind instead of wasting money at every turn through inefficiency, ineffectivness and downright incompetence !

  2. Someonewhocares

    Well they have certainly ‘redesigned’ this Service, that’s a fact, and with a 30% cut in services and a 50% reduction in Staff and a move from “Intervention” to “Support” of course, Similarly they do not actually say they are going to *cut* anything, and even jobs are being “deleted” not “lost”. What is particularly interesting therefore is their statement within stating they also need to be *courageous*; Pity they were not courageous enough to use the reality of the situation therefore rather than just resorting to such weasel words throughout. ‘Spin Doctors’ take note!

    “Model / redesign / delete” = Cuts, lost jobs, reductions in service levels

    They said:-
    ” In order for the model to be successful the Council values will need to be upheld, they are;
    “do it together, make it happen, be courageous” ”

    Oh really??

  3. Rosie Woods

    This is a disastrous cut to service but isn’t the result of inefficiency! It is the result of cruel cuts made nationally by the tories. Labours mistake is to try to pass off cuts as somehow a ‘positive redesign’. They should call it what it is, a damaging cut that will put children at risk. We need to continually put the issue of central government cuts centre stage. The government will not allow councils to invest or innovate. Labour should make clear their opposition to all these service cuts not try to soft soap them.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Yes, you are absolutely correct: It is a *very bad thing* being shamefully sold as ‘something good’ – and their lies continue, as just reported in Harrow Times:-

      “Council spokesperson Masooma Sarwar said: “No decisions have been made or finalised. Consultation with staff is ongoing and these are just some of the options we are looking at.”

      No Masooma we all now know it’s a ‘done deal’. You can (and probably will) tweak it *very slightly*, but then tell me: How *do* such ‘professional liars’ sleep at night?

    2. Susan Hall

      Rosie Woods, you comment that ‘The Government will not allow Councils to invest or innovate’ In some ways I wish that was true. Harrow Labour run Council are going to borrow £350 million thus doubling our debt. The cost of this borrowing will have a terrible impact on frontline services. They intend to invest in properties, start new businesses and goodness knows what else when they should, in my opinion, stick to what they are supposed to be good at doing and thats running a Council and providing the services we need. Please open your eyes, other Councils are thriving yet Harrow would appear to sink. The roads are filthy, vulnerable service users are being hit yet this Labour run Council continue to waste money. Its not good enough!

      1. Rosie Woods

        Susan Hall you are being hypocritical. You are a Tory amd your government has brought in savage cuts to councils all over the country insisting we must all near the brunt for a financial crisis not our making. There are massive cuts, don’t pretend there are not. Other councils are not thriving, they are all struggling under the burden of cuts. Why shouldn’t the council borrow to invest? We need more investment in transforming our community nit less, not more ‘tighten our belts’ invest to grow, it’s basic business.

        1. red mirror

          yes Rosie everybody is suffering if the too big to fails had been left to fail this country would be in much better shape take a look at Iceland for example they jailed their crooked bankers and the economy is doing fine the trouble in Britain is that the politicians especially he Tory’s are in bed with their paymasters who really call the shots Cameron being one of the worst i mean how could you trust a man who openly admits to being a disciple of Saul alinsky ?Mussolini described the merging of the state and the corporate as fascism and that indeed is what we have now trying to get a straight answer from the likes of hall is a waste of time i myself am a political atheist REMEMBER poli means many and tics are blood suckers

      2. Someonewhocares

        Interesting comments SH, so which London Councils are actually ‘thriving’ then? Download:-


        Read the report – it may open YOUR eyes too…..

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