‘Put children at the heart of everything’

cse victim stock pic

Oldham & Saddleworth’s Liberal Democrat councillors have said that the report into historic safeguarding and CSE in the Borough is a challenge to put children at the heart of everything the Council does and have, accordingly, submitted a Motion for the next Full Council Meeting on 13th July, 2022.

Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grotton, Springhead & Lees, said: “The implications of the Newsam & Ridgway report will take a long while to unpick – we have 50 outstanding questions alone (read more here) – but there’s two things we can do straight away to make a change. Our motion for the next Council meeting asks that all future Council decisions, made either by officers or councillors, be explicitly weighed against the potential risk to children and on the level of Council spending locally”.

Cllr Kenyon continues: “Whenever the Council makes a decision, it’s weighed against a range of criteria including things like how much it costs, whether more people are needed to implement the decision, if Council needs any new IT to make the decision work, are whether there are any legal risks – I’m asking for two new considerations; is there a risk to children of the borough and are we spending more or less money into the borough.”

He concludes: “Kids who are at risk of CSE are often vulnerable, and one of the key vulnerabilities is poverty. Whilst on the face of it not directly related to child safety, increasing the wealth that stays in the Borough will reduce poverty and reduce kids’ vulnerability to CSE. A lot of the time, politics seems to be pantomime and has little effect with people’s every day lives – I’m hoping that colleagues from all parties can put that aside and come together for a simple change that will benefit all who live and work in Oldham”.

A Motion seeking to extend the CSE Assurance Review process, by instituting a public inquiry, has been set down by the Failsworth Independent Party (read more here).

The full Terms of Reference can be read here and the full CSE Assurance Review outcome can be read here. A Parliamentary debate brought by Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon, on 30th June, 2022 in the wake of the publication of the report can be viewed (with sub-titles), in full, at this link.

Page last updated Thursday 7th July, 2022 at 1340hrs

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Picture credits: Oldham Council

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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