Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Childcare Changes Starting To Take Effect - Part3

An announcement that 17 local authorities in England are already moving ahead with plans to roll out the controversial ContactPoint database has received a sturdy response from a variety of concerns.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation said it is "almost certainly illegal", while a spokesperson for Reading NO2ID described it as "utter overkill".

Local LibDems are seriously concerned about the prospective risks of a centralised database.

Leader of the RBC LibDem group Cllr Kirsten Bayes argues forcefully that such as system - which prevents any opt-out once instigated - is not only hugely expensive, but will permanently change the relationship between individuals and the state. She says, "it is a waste of time and money, and should be scrapped."

Cllr Warren Swaine pulls even fewer punches, saying things don't get any worse than spending "£224m on a paedophiles' A-to-Z"!

And if you needed any further convincing of the risks of placing complete trust in digital systems, the matter was recently placed in stark relief when West Berkshire Council 'blundered' by sending intimate sensitive healthcare reports from a similar database to the wrong recipients. West Berkshire spokesperson Keith Ulyatt attempted to reassure the public that although human error can never be eliminated entirely, the incident was isolated.

Nevertheless despite such concerted opposition lead councillor for Children's Services Labour's Cllr John Ennis has refused to budge from his determination that anything which could save lives is worthwhile, and swept aside concerns stating warnings that information was being collected have been circulated for the past two years.

ContactPoint is due to be introduced by Reading Borough Council over the next couple of months.

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Update: Mike McNamara posts a comprehensive round-up on the issues relating to ContactPoint. He is very concerned that the prospect of an all-controlling state, stating "Big Brother gets closer by the day".

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