Cambridgeshire County councillor calls on Shire Hall to cut ties with law firm over social media messages

Baker Small have apologised for 'inappropriate' Tweets

Baker Small have apologised for 'inappropriate' Tweets - Credit: Archant

A Cambridgeshire county councillor is calling on Shire Hall bosses to cease to employ a law firm after a flurry of inappropriate messages was published by the company on social media.

Lorna Dupre

Lorna Dupre - Credit: Archant

Cllr Lorna Dupré (Lib Dem, Sutton) has written to the council’s executive director of children, family and adult services, asking that the county council pull the plug on any further engagement of Milton Keynes based law firm Baker Small.

Cllr Dupré said information on the county council’s website shows that it has paid at least £144,000 to Baker Small between May 2015 and January 2016.

Baker Small specialises in public sector legal services, including representing local authorities facing challenges at tribunals from parents of children with special educational needs.

On Saturday evening (June 11), Baker Small published a series of inappropriate messages from its official Twitter account @bakersmall which caused great offence and upset to parents of children with special needs.

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Cllr Dupré said: “The messages published by Baker Small appeared to gloat at the defeat of parents fighting for the interests of their children, and laugh at those who have lost their cases.

“Many of these cases are immensely upsetting, and for a company employed by the county council to publicly ridicule and humiliate the parents involved is unprofessional and totally unacceptable.”

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Baker Small have subsequently apologised for the Tweets, but Cllr Dupré said: “I believe that the actions of Baker Small mean that parents can no longer have confidence in any process in which the company is involved, or in the county council if it continues to engage Baker Small to represent its interests. I am therefore calling on the county council to cut all ties with this company with immediate effect.”

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