Inspectors have criticized the council that oversaw the murdered Logan Mwangi

Inspectors have criticized the council that oversaw the murdered Logan Mwangi

“Serious concerns” remain with the Child Protection Department, which oversaw the murdered five-year-old Logan Mwangi, a watchdog has noted.

Care Inspectorate Wales acknowledged that there had been improvements at Bridgend County Borough Council over the past 12 months that “further urgent action” was needed to improve services for children and families.

Logan was killed by his mother, stepfather and stepbrother in July last year after suffering “catastrophic” internal injuries akin to a “brutal and sustained assault” comparable to a car accident.

Angharad Williamson, 31, John Cole, 40, and 14-year-old Craig Mulligan were all convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Logan Mwangi was killed by his mother, stepfather and stepbrother in Bridgend (South Wales Police/PA)

Logan Mwangi was killed by his mother, stepfather and stepbrother in Bridgend (South Wales Police/PA)

Bridgend’s childcare department was already in the spotlight before Logan’s death after serious concerns were raised about standards.

Inspectors from Care Inspectorate Wales carried out a background check in April 2021 and highlighted areas of concern.

A performance assessment was then carried out in May this year, examining four areas: children, prevention, well-being and partnership work.

The watchdog said the council, like many other local authorities, is facing high demand for children’s services and increasing complexity of cases.

There were also issues with senior staff retention, recruitment and reliance on newly qualified and agency social workers, but praised improved communication with partner agencies.

The report states: “The peak of this pressure, coupled with deficiencies in some systems and processes, including management oversight arrangements, had a significant adverse impact on the delivery of some children’s services in the Bridgend County Borough.

Angharad Williamson, 31, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her son (South Wales Police/PA)

Angharad Williamson, 31, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her son (South Wales Police/PA)

“Concerns have been raised about the timeliness of the local authority’s information advice and support service and its ability to meet its statutory responsibilities to promote and protect the well-being of vulnerable children and families.”

The report said there were differences in the quality of child and family social work services and practice, but that after internal and external audits and reviews, there had been “recent significant improvements”.

There also needs to be “sustained progress at the pace” in children’s services, inspectors said.

Craig Mulligan, 14, has also been convicted of the murder of Logan Mwangi (South Wales Police/PA).

Craig Mulligan, 14, has also been convicted of the murder of Logan Mwangi (South Wales Police/PA).

The inspection came at a time when the council recognized that “significant action and resources” were needed to improve childcare in the area.

“We noticed that some improvements have been made since April 2021,” the watchdog said.

“However, we continue to have serious concerns about the delivery of children’s services in Bridgend.

“The local authority has accepted the findings of this report and has assured us that they are prioritizing the work required to address the issues identified during this inspection.”

Agency heads have set up a strategy committee to ensure improvements are made and are working closely with the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Regional Safeguarding Board and other local agencies.

John Cole, 40, will serve at least 29 years in prison for the murder of his stepson (South Wales Police/PA)

John Cole, 40, will serve at least 29 years in prison for the murder of his stepson (South Wales Police/PA)

Gillian Baranski, Chief Inspector of Care Inspectorate Wales, said: “I am pleased to acknowledge that there have been some improvements since our safety inspection in April 2021.

“However, further urgent action needs to be taken to ensure and maintain improved care and support for children and families in Bridgend.

“This work needs to be prioritized to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children.

“We will continue to work with local authority leaders and closely monitor local authority performance.”

John Cole and Craig Mulligan took Logan's body from her home in Sarn, Bridgend (circled left) to the River Ogmore (circled right) where it was later found by police (South Wales Police/PA).

John Cole and Craig Mulligan took Logan’s body from her home in Sarn, Bridgend (circled left) to the River Ogmore (circled right) where it was later found by police (South Wales Police/PA).

Bridgend County Borough Council welcomed the report and said it confirmed several improvements had already been made, while others were being implemented.

Councilor Jane Gebbie, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, said: “We welcome the findings of this report and have given inspectors the assurances that the progress already made will continue.

“Much work has already been done to improve the overall quality of our services to children and their families and much of this has been highlighted in the report.

“I would like to thank our Children’s Services staff for the dedication and service they have shown during the significant challenges of the pandemic and beyond.

“The Council remains committed to strengthening the overall effectiveness and resilience of its services to children and we will continue to work closely with inspectors to make further improvements.”

Logan Mwangi died in this apartment in the Sarn area of ​​Bridgend (Ben Birchall/PA)

Logan Mwangi died in this apartment in the Sarn area of ​​Bridgend (Ben Birchall/PA)

Following Logan’s death, a review of the children’s practice was launched, led by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board, which includes local councils, police, probation and the NHS.

It is scheduled to be released later this year.

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