Journalism is not a popularity contest – but this abuse is absolutely off the scale

As an investigative journalist, an essential requirement is to develop a thick skin and the ability shrug off both criticism and resistance to what is being probed, writes Neil Wilby. Particularly, from subjects of those enquiries and their circle of friends and associates who may feel threatened by what may, potentially, be exposed. This can,Continue reading “Journalism is not a popularity contest – but this abuse is absolutely off the scale”

Can democracy trump chaos?

Over the past month there have been unprecedented scenes of serious disorder during two meetings of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. The first of those was an Extraordinary Meeting called in the wake of a controversial and much delayed ‘Assurance Review’ into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the town. The second was a scheduled meetingContinue reading “Can democracy trump chaos?”

Disgraced Mayor makes further false claims over efficacy of ‘Assurance Review’

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has written an open letter to Oldham residents in response to widespread criticism of a Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Assurance Review, commissioned and paid for by him, which was published on 20th June, 2022. In his letter, the Mayor says he wants to ‘make sure people in OldhamContinue reading “Disgraced Mayor makes further false claims over efficacy of ‘Assurance Review’”

‘Renegades’ face humiliation over quest for public inquiry

Four ‘renegade’ Oldham Metropolitan Borough councillors, Bethany Sharp (representing St James ward), Dave Arnott (Royton North), Lewis Quigg (Royton North) and Robert Barnes (Chadderton South) say they have written a joint letter to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel, urging her to consider instituting an independent public inquiry into child sexualContinue reading “‘Renegades’ face humiliation over quest for public inquiry”

No Action Yet Taken Against CSE Failure Staff

Once again, it has fallen to the Oldham’s Liberal Democrats to make the discovery that, despite both Oldham Council’s and Greater Manchester Police’s assurances that processes to deal with child sexual exploitation (CSE) have changed extensively, they have also confirmed that no disciplinary actions have so far been taken with any staff still employed whoContinue reading “No Action Yet Taken Against CSE Failure Staff”

LibDems slam ‘new’ chief constable over taxi checks

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Party has discovered that, despite Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council warning Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in December 2018 that the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS check) wasn’t good enough for taxi licensing, the Council still haven’t had a promised response. The recent Assurance Review into historic CSE in Oldham found that GMP initiallyContinue reading “LibDems slam ‘new’ chief constable over taxi checks”

Council Leader condemns ‘Punch and Judy’ show

Troubled Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, mired in controversy over the long-delayed publication of the Assurance Review into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the town, has issued a statement, via its Leader, Cllr Amanda Chadderton (pictured above), setting out its strategy for tackling both the findings of the report and the ongoing CSE problem in theContinue reading “Council Leader condemns ‘Punch and Judy’ show”

Will democracy trump disorder?

Following disgraceful scenes of public disorder at an Extraordinary Meeting of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council on 27th June, 2022 more disruption is expected at a Full Council meeting scheduled for 13th July, 2022. Noisy and disruptive protests over a failed ‘Assurance Review’ into child sexual exploitation failings in the Borough, during the period 2006 toContinue reading “Will democracy trump disorder?”

Criticism of controversial Oldham CSE report piles high

Following the public release of a controversial ‘Child Sexual Exploitation Assurance Review’ on 20th June, 2022 and an ugly display of public disorder by protesters at an Extraordinary Council Meeting a week later, Liberal Democrat councillors in Oldham have said that the report into historic safeguarding and CSE in the Borough is just the startContinue reading “Criticism of controversial Oldham CSE report piles high”

Council Leader makes crisis meeting U-turn as Mayor throws her ‘under a bus’

In the wake of a damning and widely reported child safeguarding report, beleagured Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council announced that an Extraordinary Meeting will take place on Monday 27th June, 2022 at the Civic Centre (read more here). This followed a press conference hosted by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), who first commissioned region-wide ‘AssuranceContinue reading “Council Leader makes crisis meeting U-turn as Mayor throws her ‘under a bus’”