Norfolk County Council rejects ‘conflict of interest’ claim in adoption case row

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County council chiefs have today, Thursday March 27, rejected claims of a conflict of interest over its handling of adoption cases.

The claims were made after last week’s intervention by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who accused the authority of trying to stop him from representing the interests of his constituent.

Kids For Cash UK, an organisation which investigates child protection and adoption cases, has alleged that Pam Cary, an officer from the county’s nplaw legal service whose specialist fields include child social services, also gives legal advice to the county’s safeguarding children board.

The group’s chief executive, David Gale, said: “There is a clear conflict of interest.”

But a council spokesman said Ms Cary does not work on adoption cases for the authority.

She said: “We believe that Norfolk’s Safeguarding Children Board complies fully with the statutory guidance on serious case reviews.

“We are also confident that there is no conflict of interest in nplaw’s work with the NSCB generally and, in relation to specific matters, members of the serious case review group will always step down if they believe a conflict could arise.”

However, Mr Bellingham said he was keen to meet representatives of the group.