Following two very recent decisions by Northern police forces to sack officers after having sexual relations with vulnerable females with whom they have had professional contact, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council has been asked to review its decision to allow a sitting councillor accused of rape to continue to attend Full Council meetings, committee meetings and training sessions at the Civic Centre.
The review is necessary as it has emerged in the past week that the rape complainant is a known vulnerable female. The source is an Oldham councillor from the same political party as the rape suspect. Neither the party nor the source can be named due to the potential jigsaw identification of the suspect and, possibly thereafter, the victim, whom now has lifetime anonymity.
It is also a live police investigation and the suspect remains on police bail. He was arrested by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) at an address in Hollinwood on 8th September, 2022 (read more here).
GMP is one of the two forces referred to in the opening paragraph of this article, Northumbria Police is the other.
Since his arrest, and to the particular discomfort of the twenty-one female elected Members on Oldham Council, the rape suspect has attended two Full Council meetings (in November and December), at least one committee meeting and at least one safeguarding training session.
The political party to whom the rape suspect belongs has consistently declined to comment on the situation and all its Members seem content to engage with him during those sessions.
An email has been sent to the Council Leader, Cllr Amanda Chadderton, and the Council’s chief executive, Harry Catherall, urging them to refer the matter back to the safeguarding unit in the light of the new information that has now emerged.
Over the past several years, Oldham Council has achieved notoriety locally, regionally and nationally as an opaque organisation with a penchant for poor decision-making. Too often with the sole purpose of misplaced loyalty and covering-up past misdemeanours of officers and councillors.
This present decision that they are invited to make is one they absolutely must get right.
Page last updated Tuesday 31st January, 2023 at 1625hrs
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