Showing posts from February, 2021

The truth about dog theft

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on it's shoes." I’m seeing lots of stories about dog theft and whilst every one of them is traumatising for the owners it’s also right that we need to be realistic and, to a degree, allay fears. First the bad news. Dog theft has increased significantly during coronavirus (largely as a result of people being at home and being willing to pay 300 to 400% the normal price of puppies). According to the BBC Leicestershire is one of the worst affected forces for dog theft, and undoubtedly breeders and kennels are at risk. But for most of us dog theft thankfully remains relatively rare (in the first 7 months of 2020 the rate increased in the county from 22 cases to 41). And indeed puppy smuggling from the EU is in all likelihood a much more attractive source for ruthless ‘breeders’ to source your exorbitantly priced puppy than as a result of theft. Of course social media is never the source of accurate informa

We all have a duty to stand up for children in care

When I first became a County Councillor I was fortunate enough to be appointed Chairman of the council's committee that scrutinised children's social services. Shortly after I had started the role I was taken to one side by the rather wonderful Lead Member for Children and Families - a statutory role - for a quiet chat. This longstanding councillor, and a nformer headteacher, asked me if I understood the seriousness of the role I had found myself in? I replied that I thought I did, but a conversation later I realised that I very much did not. That conversation in many ways changed my views on life. I'm eternally grateful to my council colleague for his counsel and wisdom that day (and since), and I would like to explain why. Having worked in schools for years of course I was familiar with the concept of being 'a corporate parent'. To the uninitiated a corporate parent is the body responsible for looking after a child who is in foster care or, say, a childrens' h