The suspension and removal of Cllr John Fisher as Cabinet Member for Children's Services.

The suspension and removal of Cllr John Fisher as Cabinet Member for Children's Services.

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caroline sykes started this petition to Cllr Andrew Proctor (Norfolk County Council)

We call on the Leader of Norfolk County Council Andrew Proctor to remove Cllr John Fisher as Cabinet Member for Children's Services as he has proved himself to be completely unsuited to the role.

Cllr Fisher holds seats on 4 different councils in Norfolk (Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, Sprowston Town Council and Thorpe St Andrew Town Council). He receives allowances totalling in excess of £30 000* for his councillor roles on Broadland council, NCC - including an additional £16,490 for his role as cabinet member for Children’s Services. * using the latest figures available from Broadland and NCC websites.

Norfolk's children and young people deserve a Cabinet Member who is dedicated, knowledgeable and empathetic as to their needs.

Cllr Fisher has proved on several occasions that he possesses none of those qualities, as his recent comments around education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) demonstrate.

In an EDP article, he questioned the findings of the recent Ofsted report into SEND provision, stating that "...I don’t believe it is what they are getting anyway."

He minimised the effect that the cancellation of Short Breaks placements and activities has had on families during the Coronavirus pandemic, failing to recognise the impact that increased caring responsibilities of children and young people with complex needs has on families.

His latest, completely unsubstantiated comment, ”Evidence shows us that children with EHCPs who attend mainstream schools have better outcomes than those who attend special schools, and enjoy greater opportunities in adult life" in response to this story about a mother fighting for three years to secure her son a suitable school placement appropriate for his needs, is another prime example of his lack of understanding of the diversity and complexity of the children and families he represents.

Where is the evidence to back up this claim? And if it is true, why is Norfolk County Council in the process of building several new special free schools, as part of its £120m SEND Transformation programme?

The grim reality for many Norfolk children with SEND, is that they are struggling due to not being supported in mainstream schools due to a lack of funding and are either waiting for a specialist placement, or are neither attending school nor receiving an education.

We also question Cllr Fisher’s suitability to continue in this role, following his multiple speeding convictions and recent driving ban, the seriousness of which his glib comments do not come close to acknowledging.

https://www.change.org/p/john-fisher-john-fisher-needs-to-apologise-for-his-atrocious-comments-after-his-speeding-conviction

We believe Cllr Fisher’s behaviour and comments do not reflect several of the principles stipulated in the Members’ Code of Conduct, including those of Integrity, Accountability and Leadership.

Norfolk's children deserve a Cabinet member who both understands their needs and will fight their corner. Cllr Fisher fails on both counts. We demand better.

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