Council boss in charge in Haringey during Baby P scandal stepping down

THE chief executive of Haringey Council who was in charge during the Baby P scandal has announced she is stepping down. Dr Ita O’Donovan will retire from the top post in Haringey in February next year, a job she has held since March 2006.

She was in charge when Baby P, now named as Peter Connelly, died while in the care of mother Tracey Connelly, her partner Steven Barker, and his brother Jason Owens.

The 17-month-old toddler has more than 50 injuries when he died in August 2007, despite being on the council’s child protection register and receiving repeated visits from social workers.

The council was heavily criticised for its failings in the run-up to Peter’s death, and its child protection services were labelled “inadequate” by government inspectors.

Dr O’Donovan reached retirement age in May, but said she stayed on “to provide stability and help put things right”.

In a statement today, she said: “We have taken decisive action over the last eight months and inspectors have recognised that progress has been made but much more needs to be done.

“Between now and February, our focus will be on delivering the range of improvements to frontline social work already identified as necessary.

“The most recent assessment of our overall performance by the government shows that, with the exception of our children’s safeguarding service, the council is in good shape and we are still achieving a great deal.”