The council boss fired over the death of Baby P was taken on a trip to Ascot races by a building firm she recommended for a £28million contract.It stands to reason that the incredible arrogance displayed by this woman over the death of a child in her department’s care is also a factor in her decision to take up this offer, despite how it might appear to the casual observer.
Just months after the toddler's death in August 2007, Sharon Shoesmith was pictured at the racecourse enjoying hospitality from the construction company Willmott Dixon.
And now documents show that her day out came after she supported the firm's bid to build a sixth-form centre in the borough.
Earlier this year, Willmott Dixon was criticised after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into claims of bid rigging in the building industry.Haringey would be well advised to cast a critical eye over the awarding of this contract and just ensure all the negotiations were above board and without reproach.
It is in line to share a further £200million of construction work in rebuilding and renovating schools in the borough, in part because of Mrs Shoesmith's recommendation.
Mrs Shoesmith is believed to have attended the races after meeting senior managers from Willmott Dixon as a result of her involvement in the sixth-form project.Isn’t that nice….?
She has previously revealed that she made a £25 donation to charity for her day at the races as the firm's guest.
A Willmott Dixon spokesman said the trip to Ascot was an annual event for 600 guests. 'We invite them along, its convivial and that's it.'Let’s hope so, because you can bet the farm people are going to be scrutinising everything this mobile disaster-zone has done while at Haringey…
'It's not about trying for business advantage. These sorts of contracts are very rigorously audited,' he added.
A Haringey Council spokesman said that Mrs Shoesmith had formally declared her Ascot trip - although the hospitality register is not publicly available.And naturally, that’s worth the paper it’s written on. Isn’t it…?
The spokesman added that the tendering process was 'clear, transparent and auditable and offer protection for the client and value for money for residents.
'In addition, all tendering parties are required to sign and commit to a certificate of non-collusion,' she said.