Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Senator Ben Shenton - Good or bad apple?

Hello again

Some of you may be aware that in the States Chambers today Senator Syvret asked a question 'without notice' to Senator Shenton.

Senator Syvret's question was whether Senator Shenton will now be requesting an independent investigation into my serious concerns complaint, dated 1st January 2007, given the ‘tangible facts’ that are now available.

Senator Syvret cited that these facts are now available from the following sources:

BBC South West “The Politics Show” (aired 13th January 2008)Witness statements taken as part of Madeline Davies’ investigation Police interviews with former residents of Greenfields/Les ChĂȘnes Information received by Gerald WhiteInformation received by Andrew WilliamsonInformation received by the Howard League for Penal Reform

This question was asked at my request because I had received a letter from Senator Shenton on 7th January 2008 which refused my right of appeal against the outcome of my original complaint which was dated 1st January 2007.

In his response to my appeal letter, despite declining my appeal, Senator Shenton wrote,

"However, in the wider public interest, if you can furnish me with tangible facts which can be corroborated independently then I will consider how best to proceed."

Personally I hold the view that the above list does indeed provide such tangible facts.

In Senator Shenton's reply to Senator Syvret today he stated that an independent investigation is already being undertaken (he was referring to the current investigation by Professor Upex).

I have serious misgivings about this response, very serious, as I believe that Senator Shenton has either lied or he has no idea what his department are doing; which as a minister, is deeply worrying).

I will explain my view as follows.

The question asked of him was whether he would re-investigate my complaint; this complaint was primarily about Joe Kennedy and the Grand Prix system.

For clarity, and to highlight the inaccuracies of his answer, Professor Upex is not investigating either of these issues; he is scrutinising the procedures that the States of Jersey followed during my employment and subsequent dismissal.

Professor Upex will not be making a judgment on my complaint, Joe Kennedy, the Grand Prix system or whether or not my complaint should have been upheld, it is purely about process.

So, from his answer, it is clear that Senator Shenton either does not know what his department is doing or he has lied in order to mislead the public and obfuscate from the question asked of him.

I will be writing to Senator Shenton tomorrow to ask him the same question that Senator Syvret asked him and explain how his answer was so appallingly political. I will post all correspondence on this blog.

While we are on this subject, in order to assist Senator Shenton, can anyone provide me with any evidence (either through this blog or to thejerseywhistleblower@hotmail.com) that I can give to Senator Shenton that may be considered as 'tangible facts' and that can also be corroborated independently?

This would include information about the Grand Prix system, the 24 hours in a room upon admission, any information about the failure on the part of Joe Kennedy, Phil Dennett, Linda Dodds, Madeleine Davies, Gerald White etc etc.

Also, any information about the previous regimes which were run by XXXXX and Wendy Hurford, Kevin Mansell, Mario Lundy, Tom Mckeon, Cliff Chipperfield etc.

I appreciate that this is a lot to ask of readers, but this is the time when the likes of Pollard (more aptly named as Bollard), Ogley, Walker etc they will have no choice but to sit up and listen.

I will place it all on this blog (with the authors consent of course) and then we will see if the States of Jersey can really shut this blog down.

If they do start to getting twitchy the first thing that will happen is Emma Martins will be in touch with me threatening court action (she has already tod me as of the 4th June that she will be taking the appropriate action under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law.

If she does I will post that on this blog too.

Before I digress too much though, I reproduce below the letter which I sent to Senator Syvret so that you may fully understand the context of my question to Senator Shenton and how typically political his answer was - in that he failed to answer the question.

If anyone is confused due to lack of information please let me know and I will post any information required to help you to understand.

"XXXXLa Grande Route de St JeanTrinity JE3 XXX Tel. 07797 XXXXXX 16 June 2008 Senator Stuart SyvretXXXXXXXXXXXXSt Helier JE2 XXX Dear Senator Syvret I am writing to you once again to ask for your help. An extraordinary year has passed since my initial letter to you on 13 June 2008 regarding my experiences with the Children’s Service. As you are aware, a so-called “independent” investigation into my Serious Concerns Complaint dated 1 January 2007 was carried out by several senior civil servants with a vested interest in its outcome. When they apparently found no evidence to support my allegations, I followed the appeals process which lead me to you. You championed my concerns about the service children in Greenfields were receiving, and understood my feelings about how I had been treated for raising awareness of poor practice, and then you yourself lost your ministerial post. As you already know, I later lodged an appeal with the new Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Shenton, regarding the outcome of investigations into my complaint. As you are also aware, I received a reply from Senator Shenton dated 7 January 2008 which denied me a right of appeal on the grounds that I was no longer an employee of the States of Jersey. The letter read, “As you are no longer an employee of the States of Jersey, it is not possible to consider how there could be an ‘”appeal” from you.” You may recall that Senator Shenton admitted to me, in your presence, that his letter had been drafted by the Chief Executive of Health and Social Service, Mike Pollard. The same senior civil servant who had decided that my Serious Concerns Complaint had no merit and that my employment as Centre Manager of Greenfields had become untenable for whistleblowing on abusive childcare practices. The letter went on to say, “However, in the wider public interest, if you can furnish me with tangible facts which can be corroborated independently then I will consider how best to proceed”. I feel that it is time for Senator Shenton to consider his position on this matter. - 2 - Due to your supportive and passionate response to my initial concerns, and to all the horrendous childcare failings that we have learned about in the past year, I am writing to request that you consider posing a question to Senator Shenton in the States Assembly tomorrow. I understand that this is a ‘questions without notice’ session, so Mr Pollard will not be able to draft Senator Shenton’s response this time. My question to Senator Shenton would be: “In light of the following ‘tangible facts’, perhaps you might now find enough independently corroborated evidence to agree that a re-investigation into my complaints about childcare practices at Greenfields might hold some merit?” I list below the evidence that I believe is “tangible” enough to satisfy Senator Shenton, all of which can be “corroborated independently”: BBC South West “The Politics Show” (aired 13th January 2008)Witness statements taken as part of Madeline Davies’ investigation Police interviews with former residents of Greenfields/Les ChĂȘnes Information received by Gerald WhiteInformation received by Andrew WilliamsonInformation received by the Howard League for Penal Reform A quick solution to this might be to request that the terms of reference for the Howard League for Penal Reform be extended to include full consideration of the Grand Prix behaviour management regime. I realise that this would not re-investigate my personal treatment by my line manager, Joe Kennedy - an unpleasant experience which he can continue to put his staff through as he was allowed to return to work following suspension, investigation and disciplinary hearing. This would however serve to properly investigate the treatment of vulnerable children in Jersey’s secure children’s home over a period of years until I discontinued use of abusive practices in October 2006. Thank you for your relentless support in these matters. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Yours sincerely Simon Bellwood"

Thank you all, keep posting a name or initial as it is much easier to follow.

Also, if you have any information that may assist in finally getting rid of those senior civil servants who have allowed this institutional abuse to continue for so long then now is the time to speak up - not for me, but for the children of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

One more thing before I go.

Rumour has it that there is an informer, a spy, a grass, amongst the staff within the residential service.

Let us set the record straight, this is a myth. In truth, there are lots of them.

They are everywhere.

Trust nobody.

Check for cameras.

They are watching you.

They are so deep undercover working for the WSS (Whistleblowers Secret Service) that they will never be caught.

They are the best we have got. On this subject, agent 329 (you know who you are) you reported to me last week, or was it last year, that the managers (Phil Dennett especially) were so desperate to know who gave me the copy of the team meeting minutes that they stated that if they found out who gave them to me they would be sacked immediately.

These minutes by the way, are the ones which prove that Phil Dennett and Joe Kennedy changed their minds on the criteria for solitary confinement just after they had received my complaint.

And, for the benefit of Senator Shenton, yes these minutes could also be considered as tangible facts that can be corroborated independently.

I am undecided as to whether or not I should disclose the name of these informers to you all.

Actually there is no need as this information passed through so many hands that it disguised the actual perpetrator to the extent that I am not even sure that I know who it was.

Okay, lets not pull any punches here.

The trail is as follows, Madeleine Davies included these minutes in her evidence to the Corporate Parent (it was forgotten that Suart Syvret was the actual CP with Kinnard and Vibert and they (he at least) were never told of this meeting). In this meeting, Madeleine Davies gave the minutes to Mike Pollard, who subsequently gave it to Stuart Syvret who gave it to me.

Great isn't it?

Mike Pollard soon realised things had got a little f**ked up and then tried to get the information back from me.

Emma Martins, Data Protection Commissioner issued an enforcement notice on Mike Pollard, as a result of my Subject Access request, and he had to give me a redacted version of the information.

I destroyed the original copy I had received though Senator Syvret, as requested, however, the version given to me through Mike Pollard (the redacted version) was the same - quite comical really.

So I suppose with some hesitation, I should thank Madeleiane Davies and Mike Pollard for being so incompetent and giving me some of the 'Tangible facts' as requested by Senator Shenton, the Minister for Health and Social Security.

Speak again soon

Simon

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon

Thanks for posting your latest blog. It makes interesting reading and your blog count is going up all the time!!

Given the history of all the abuse and poor care provided to young people who have had the misfortune to require state care over decades you would think someone in management would have the guts to stand up and support what you are saying.

Hopefully staff and parents will have the courage to provide enough evidence to make to make a difference.

You said a member of staff got a young person pregnant. Was that young person under age?

Sadly in my experience where abusive and uncaring regimes are allowed to continue unchecked in residential care, poor practice and abuse become the tools of control and care.

Jersey does not have a good history of providing safe care to young people, and are we going to look back in twenty years at what went on in Greenfields like we are with HDLG and Le Chene.

I only hope Senator Ben Shenton has the courage to investigate what Simon is saying fully. He should ask to see exit records of all the social workers who have left and ask ex social who have returned to the UK to honestly comment on the practice they saw when they worked in Jersey.

A proper investigation would then conclude one way or the other what Simon is saying is a true reflection of the care provided to young people in residential care.

Why is so much time and energy being wasted of trying to shut people like Simon and Stuart up.

Is Stuart likely to have his blog closed down as well? Just in case you do get closed down you may as well get as much information out there as you can.

Buz

Anonymous said...

can the civil servants really find your case mishandled because if they did then the re instatement of joe kennedy would also have to be re investigated therefore causing more upset and embarassement I really do wish you luck with your case but I cant see them putting their hands up and saying that they were wrong.
B.E.

TonyB said...

If your blog gets stopped you might always look at

http://wikileaks.org/

Which is a site for whistleblowers worldwide, which has managed to fend off attempts to close them down by large corporations (rather than small islands)

Anonymous said...

Simon.

They are digging themselves deeper daily as your story unfolds.


It is frustrating to watch, very few have the courage to come clean and admit the truth.

The investigators, with restrictive (and very cleverly issued) remits need to share the evidence they have collected. They need to re- address their varying conclusions.

Between all involved, the evidence is available.
Admit the truth and stop protecting each other.

How can the whole service improve with the benefit of'expensive' recommendations? when the employees are looking up to dishonest senior managers, the respect has surely all gone? You know if you have been a part of the collusion.

A front cover apology is needed in the JEP, (perhaps Walker can get a discount). The media should be notified and community care should publish an article.

Those involved in your demise should be expressing their regret in the travesty you and your family have been subjected to since your arrival on Jersey.

Those who have accused vulnerable children of telling lies should be asking for forgiveness.

Simon, you have impacted on the service of caring for looked after children in a very positive way.You have raised awareness, this has helped in the battle against the establishment.
Thank you.

Mac

Davros Le Sueur said...

I feel that Ben Shenton is finding his feet and sadly that has also meant he made mistakes.
Unlike many of the other Council of Clowns I can see some humility there.
It can't be easy having 'Coconut' Perchard behind you either!

Anonymous said...

Hey Simon

Post a comment even if it is only to say you are pxxxxd off. We are keeping in touch with you and I know it is difficult but in the end worth it. You have a lot of people who ae with you although I bet you think you are on your own. We cannot change what you have gone through but we can support you in the future.

No matter how hard, say a few words regularly. Its the way forward. Believe me.

Wank Fralker

Depressed Islander! said...

interesting to hear that Ben Shenton's response to an invite into how to solve the current 'nursery provision' issue was "I don't have time for trivialities!".
Strange as this meeting was held in a lunch break between meetings. I guess lunch is more important than our young Islanders!!!
Sadly out of 53 states members only 13 thought this was an important enough meeting to attend.

Anonymous said...

Simon,

You need to carry on blogging, your followers are begining to loose interest.

Anyone would think you had a life??

The establishment would love this blog to die a death.

This is not over yet, you may not be fully aware of all the support that is being shown to your plight.

Just think.
Some children or young adults involved at Les chene or Greenfields could be aware of this blog. They need to know that they are supported and believed.

People are still speaking up.

Williamson's report is awaited any day. Will the state make this document public?
The Howard League for Penal Reform are honourable, experienced individuals, their report will be direct. They are not being paid by the state.
They will make it public.

Following the news, reading Syvret's blog site, reading the paper. It seems to me their is no end to the abuse of authority.

I hope Shenton moves up a scale, one letter to the editor(jep 25/06) is not enough.

Get your hands dirty and investigate Simons case Shenton.

Open the lid on each and every one of the high earning freeloaders.

I urge anyone with further contributions to contact Williamson or Howard League. Google for contact details.

PAK

Anonymous said...

The Minister has been unseemingly quiet over all the recent events. He signed a letter by Pollard which removed Simon's right of appeal.