A COUNCIL leader has promised changes recommended by reviews into the death of murdered boy Alfie Steele have been "put into action" to prevent a repeat of the case.

But the chairman of Worcestershire County Council, Kyle Daisley, was challenged by a public speaker as to why the recently published review was not on the agenda at the latest council meeting.

Alfie Steele died in February 2021 at his Droitwich home following months of cruelty which left him with more than 50 injuries.

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review, published last month by the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership (WSCP), identified missed opportunities to keep him safe after multiple concerns were raised by family members, neighbours and his school. 

The review found his mother and her partner had lied and deceived professionals and that the Covid lockdown had played a role in preventing usual actions being taken to keep him safe. 

But it also found that social workers and police had become 'fixed in their thinking' - and that people who raised concerns were not supported enough to pursue complaints through the courts.

Worcester News: REMEMBERED: Alfie SteeleREMEMBERED: Alfie Steele

Cllr Daisley began the latest full council meeting on Thursday, (February 15), by making this statement: "I recognise how hard it has been for both Alfie's family and the wider public to learn about the abuse that Alfie suffered at the hands of the people who should have been caring for him in his home.

"Those people have been brought to justice and both are serving lengthy custodial sentences following their convictions last year.

"I am saying this today as this is the first full council meeting following the publication of the local child safeguarding practice review written by the independent author and reviewed by the national panel. 

Worcester News: CHAIRMAN: Chairman of the county council, councillor Kyle DaisleyCHAIRMAN: Chairman of the county council, councillor Kyle Daisley (Image: WCC)

"I have been assured that the recommendations from both Worcestershire Children's First's own internal review and the subsequent independent practise review have been put into action and we can do everything to ensure the safety of children and young people across our county. 

"My heartfelt sympathies go out to Alfie's family and friends."

During the public speaking section Alec Mackie, a former journalist and press officer, said: "I'm surprised to find the report of the panel into the Alfie Steele case has not been put onto today's agenda for debate. 

"I understand you have all been given the panel's report and that you will be given the opportunity to debate the whole issue of child protection in Worcestershire soon. 

Worcester News: JAILED: Dirk Howell and Carla ScottJAILED: Dirk Howell and Carla Scott (Image: West Mercia Police)

"I believe the reason the whole matter is not on today's agenda is that the leadership is awaiting the report of the independent police complaints commission and I await that report with great interest. 

"You are all responsible for child protection which dramatically failed in the case of Alfie Steele."

Conducted by independent reviewer Jane Wiffin the report made eight recommendations to agencies including the WSCP and the Probation Service.

The recommendations included a call for practitioners to be provided with guidance to strengthen child protection plans by supporting family members and neighbours who report concerns.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct is ongoing into the contact West Mercia Police had with Alfie, mum Carla Scott, 35, of Vashon Drive, and stepdad Dirk Howell,41, of Princip Street, Birmingham, prior to the killing.

Scott and Howell were jailed for the killing of nine-year-old Alfie Steele last June.