There are few things that councils do that are more important than the task of safeguarding vulnerable children.
Yet it can appear that decisions taken by social services authorities are not always ones that have the welfare of the child as the sole concern.
Not for the first time, Kent County Council is highlighting the practice of some councils to send children into the county to be looked after. It is an issue KCC has been trying to bang heads together on for years yet, for all its efforts, nothing has materially changed.
Far from home: how councils from Wales and Scotland and London are placing vulnerable children in Kent>>>
That is wrong and the current and previous government must shoulder some of the blame for failing to take any action. But it could be that things are about to change. Why?
One reason is the publicity surrounding the sex grooming trial in Rochdale, that involved the deeply distressing exploitation of underage vulnerable girls, one of whom was in care. As a result of that trial and the convictions, the leader of Rochdale council said recently he was unable to guarantee the welfare of children at risk in care homes because so many were outside the area and had been placed in them by other councils.
Kent county council has invoked Rochdale in its latest plea for something to be done, as have headteachers in Thanet who have issued a stark warning that Kent 'could be the next Rochdale.'
Scaremongering? Not really, when you look at the data and consider the challenges facing parts of east Kent in dealing with desperate levels of social deprivation and hardship.
Councils - particularly London boroughs - are making decisions based as much on their budget books as they are on children's welfare. They cast around and see east Kent as a cheaper alternative. Decisions are made that satisfy the bean counters.
That can never be right and if the government is to heed the warnings, it must act quickly and take up some of KCC's recommendations.
If councils simply ignore voluntary agreements about placements, the solution is for them to be compelled to do so through law.
County councillors have finally agreed a new policy and rules about when our democratically-elected representatives at County Hall can use chauffeur-driven cars.
One not-so-subtle change to the policy, as I predicted, is that the word "chauffeur" no longer appears in the policy document. Instead, the council refers to "county cars".
On whether councillors can avail themselves of chauffeur-driven cars, sorry "county cars" - to get them from home to County Hall, there is a new clause.
This states that such travel should be regarded "as an exception to normal travelling arrangements for all members" and only authorised in specific circumstances.
And what are these specific circumstances? "To drive the chairman, leader or deputy leader of the county council or their spouse/partner or other guest from home and back for the purposes of attending formal meetings or engagements that [they] are required to attend on behalf of KCC as part of their official duties."
This is interesting as it comes against the background of an investigation by HRMC examining whether the use of KCC cars to and from home to County Hall could constitute a taxable benefit.
The investigation has not, so far as I'm aware, determined the matter.
Another clause permits states that where the chairman, vice chairman, leader or cabinet members wish to combine official council journeys with "journeys of a private nature" they may do so - by arranging for the services of a KCC driver to be provided to "drive their own cars." Any costs will have to be met by the councillor concerned.
How much? In each case, it will be "based on a formula to be determined on each occasion by the Section 151 officer."