Last year, this over anxious mum wrote of her horror at the new idea of the then Government to introduce a vetting and barring scheme. This would have mean that anyone who helped out by, say, driving a minibus for Brownies, would have to register with an Independent Safeguarding Authority. This Authority would then decide whether they were suitable people to be allowed round children. In doing so they could use everything from police records to criminal convictions to gossip. Yes, gossip. At least that's what I took "other appropriate sources" to mean.
I, who am probably one of the world's most over anxious mothers, saw this as a deeply illiberal and unpleasant system which assumed guilt. I also thought it would be ineffective as it would not have identified Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, as a potential risk. Even if it had, he would have had to have lived somewhere and at some point no doubt an opportunity for evil would have presented itself.
So I was really pleased to see that our Lynne Featherstone, now a Home Office Minister, has put a stop to all this nanny state nonsense.. She has halted the registration process that was due to start on July 26th and she's going to look again at people's concerns while reviewing all the vetting and barring arrangements.
It's refreshing to see such common sense being talked by a Government Minister. I'm not used to it:-).