Councillors quit — but dispute “in denial” claims
TWO senior Rotherham figures have quit the borough council in the wake of the latest damning inspection report — despite rebuffing claims they were “in denial”.
Paul Lakin confirmed his resignation both as leader and councillor today, while former Cabinet member for community cohesion, Mahroof Hussain, revealed that he was leaving the authority, too.
They admitted their failings but said the Cabinet had been well aware of the task ahead of them following the Jay Report last year — contrary to inspector Louise Casey’s report saying 70 per cent of councillors were in denial about the findings of the Jay Report.
In a joint statement, the two outgoing councillors said: “After the publication of the Jay Report in August last year, it became clear that there were many people in Rotherham more anxious to guard their reputations than protect the children of Rotherham.
“In our view, none of those appointed to the new cabinet at the full council meeting on September 10, 2014 was in denial.
“The whole cabinet tried its best rapidly to heal the town's wounds and rebuild trust in the council, but a culture established over decades is difficult to overhaul completely in a few weeks.
“We are disappointed that we failed to move sufficiently quickly and hope that another fresh start will prove more successful in protecting vulnerable children and young people in Rotherham from sexual abuse.”
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