UKIP ask council if anything has changed in approach to CSE in Rotherham

By Antony Clay | 18/09/2017

UKIP ask council if anything has changed in approach to CSE in Rotherham
Cllr Allen Cowles

A UKIP councillor challenged Rotherham Borough Council over its progress in tackling child sexual exploitation after it was revealed the council dealt with 45 cases in just three months.

Cllr Allen Cowles questioned how much had changed since the scandal after council leader Cllr Chris Read gave the number of cases on the council’s books over the past quarter.

Cllr Cowles suggested that if there had been 45 in the last quarter that could mean more than 180 over the year.

He said: “So just what has changed?

“We are not making the progress you suggest.”

Cllr Read said: “The failures of Rotherham in dealing with CSE in the past have been laid bare and there is little I can add that’s not in the public domain about the council.

“We are in a different situation today with members of staff and councillors working together.

“I have said this repeatedly that there will always be in society those who do prey on children and exploit children.”

The discussion took place during Wednesday’s full council meeting at Rotherham Town Hall.

But there was no discussion of last week’s six reports into the council’s conduct over CSE because the deadline to get it on the agenda had been missed. 

Instead, it will be discussed at the full council meeting on Wednesday, October 18.

In a separate question from a member of the public urging the council to highlight to its staff the need for truthfulness in communications over CSE, former head teacher Liam Harron made a plea for openness to councillors.

He said: “I believe in Rotherham and I believe that our actions speak to others.

“The actions of many in Rotherham have been built on sand, but sand is not very good at building on and not good for burying things.”

Mr Harron said that honesty would help the council to move forward.

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