Under the headline:
Shock at lack of safety checks for "Lighting Up Brentwood"it complains that the local council has allowed people to act as volunteers at a public event without having Criminal Record Bureau checks.
The arguments deployed range from the toe curling:
"I express my concern over this matter in the strongest of terms, both as an elected councillor representing hundreds of Brentwood families and as the auntie of a three year old boy.to the spurious:
"CRB checks are also in place to protect the employee/volunteer too and they could be putting themselves in a vulnerable position of facing an accusation.Fortunately, the relevant minister, Lynne Featherstone, takes a more sensible view:
In the wake of Soham, we were all so horrified by what had happened – that child protection concerns resulted in the introduction of the Vetting and Barring Scheme. All those who would wish to work with vulnerable adults and children had to go through this scheme (which would include CRB checks) to be vetted and if necessary barred from such work. Lists are kept of those who are barred from such work by the scheme.
The consequences of this scheme would have been nine million people having to register – had it become fully operational.
So – the allied action the Government is taking is a review of the Vetting and Barring Scheme to scale it back – as per the coalition agreement – to common sense levels. We are just in the process of setting the Terms of Reference for this review.
The world of suspicious minds we all inadvertently created went too far. Together, these two reviews, Vetting and Barring and the Criminal Records checks, will help us get the balance right.