Oxfordshire Conty Concil.

Having been a cheerful swearer with vague, unarticulated boundaries (that have raised some eyebrows among some family, friends and colleagues) over the years I’m being pushed into (almost) using language I never dreamed I’d use.

Oxfordshire County Council’s legal department have replied to our concerns about the ‘independent’ investigation into LB’s death that emerged a few weeks ago. (We had no idea this report was being conducted, it’s full of inaccuracies and LB’s health and social care records shouldn’t have been shared with a third party without our knowledge).

The response begins with a rehash of the terms of reference of the ‘investigation’. In a howling example of irony these include; ‘to review the contact between adult social care, LB’s family and school’.

There follows a shedload of rubbish statements. For example:


What a peculiar statement. An all powerful ‘Council’ doing stuff rather than individuals. OCC senior staff should probably have a quick read of Chris Hatton’s latest post about bureaucracy. OCC (and their ‘independent’ consultant) have a habit of stating what wasn’t the case. Like stating in the report that I wasn’t present at a meeting after detailing who was. Detailing what wasn’t strikes me as a bit of a warning flag in terms of trying to understand what’s going on in both the construction of the report and the subsequent defence of it.

The letter states that the OCC report was commissioned by the Director of Social and Community Services in July 2014 (and then was delayed by the police investigation) before the Verita report was commissioned.  As the tender process for the NHS England review was underway in June 2014 and Verita awarded the contract in July this is simply inaccurate. Post-hoc rationalisation. Wrongness upon wrongness.


Wow. OCC taking ‘the dog ate my homework’ to new levels. This is just nonsense. Almost laughable but of course it ain’t. In some sort of unacknowledged hinterland (a space occupied by many families I’m sure) we now have two choices. Leave this ‘report’ as a public document inaccurately detailing events, to be potentially used in LB’s inquest and other arenas. Or suck up the emotional distress (and time) of carefully picking through the lengthy document to edit and correct seedy, inaccurate and self serving statements. That seems fair.

The final statement in the letter responds to the confidential status of the report. It sends my brain into a spin, given the context.


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I’m left raging. As always. Well and wondering if OCC really have a legal department or does someone like the independent consultant do a bit of moonlighting.

We are seeking legal advice.


16 thoughts on “Oxfordshire Conty Concil.

  1. Totally out of their depth and hyper-defensive. “Nasty Sara Ryan is picking on us, Miss!”
    Awful that anybody should be put through this emotional wringer by the complete blanking of honest humanity by such bureaucracy. Afraid Chris’s post is proving all to relevant for this week.

  2. Yep, the only way is legal! Absolutely sickening. As above, Chris’s post sooooo relevant to your experience, our experience and million’s of others, IT MUST STOP!!!

  3. Yep – the Council’s report looks a lot like an exercise in defensive self review. Something along the lines of “Honest guv we didn’t do anything wrong and here’s a report to prove it”. How they imagine that could have any sort of validity if it didn’t involve Connor’s family is an illustration of just how much of a siege mentality they have adopted.
    BTW Very impressed with your linguistic restraint

  4. As ever my mind boggles if boggles is the right word. I dont know a swear word that is foul enough.

  5. Edit and correct it has to be, shouldn’t have to but you really must. Legal advice God yes, take every last scrap of advice and support. Inaccuracies that go unchallenged will cause so much harm. Absolute nonsense will be held as fact.

  6. OCC’s arse-covering is unbelievably naff. Where do they find these people who write this stuff. Is there a college somewhere where these officers go to get a masterclass in bullshit writing? Or do they get hired because of their capacity to lie through their teeth to save their paymasters credibility?

  7. All of as the above.

    An aged Scottish granny,, I remember as a child being roundly clouted round the head for cursing, ………when i said ‘crivens’ or ‘jings’……..

    Now…after too many years of climbing or falling over much the same as described here by Sara,,I have found, when in meetings, making up songs in my head using one c word (heaven forfend), as a verb, adjective and noun as creatively and as often as I can, ….., really helps me to look and keep calm ……..Small wins……

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