Rotherham’s Serious Crimes

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  • For fourteen years Jayne Senior tried to help girls from Rotherham who had been groomed, raped, tortured, pimped and threatened with violence by sex traffickers. Only by becoming  a whistleblower, sharing confidential documents to expose the scandal for The Times investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk, was any action taken.
  • As the manager of Risky Business, which was set up to work with vulnerable teens, she heard heartbreaking and shocking stories of abuse and assiduously kept notes and details of the perpetrators, passing information on to the authorities
  • She describes a life spent working to protect Rotherham’s girls, the pressure put on her to stop rocking the boat and why she risked prison in the hope that she could help end the appalling child exploitation in the town is told in the book.
  • The report by Professor Alexis Jay said there were “collective failures” of political, police and social care leadership over the first 12 years the inquiry covered.

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  • The scale of the Rotherham child protection scandal has led professionals responsible for safeguarding children in other regions to recognise the extent of child abuse in their area
  • Drawing on lessons learned from key case reviews professionals must consider how to react and respond. Failing to take on the concerns of child sexual exploitation will lead to other Rotherhams.
  • The authors of ‘Sexual Exploitation After Rotherham’   present recommendations for improvements at strategic management and frontline practitioner levels.

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  • Violated is an uncomfortable story about the  sex abuse scandal in Rotherham that sent shockwaves through the nation.  Sarah Wilson one of many victims tells her story in the hope that other young girls will not fall prey to the same evil that she endured and that more care and responce will be provided by the powers that be.
  • Sarah was just eleven years old when she was befriended by a group of older men. She ‘escaped’ from rape and addiction when she became too old for the men at nearly sixteen.
  • Professors Jays report estimated that  up to 1,400 young girls in the town had been regularly abused by sex gangs, predominantly comprised of Pakistani men.

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Doncaster in the Political Spotlight

The Directly Elected Mayor:

  • is the council’s political leader and is elected by constituents on a four-year term of office
  • has executive powers and is responsible for the effective implementation of council policy and delivering services
  • has eight cabinet members to advise and support her – each cabinet member has a specific portfolio responsibility
  • Ros Jones is the current incumbent ‘before becoming Mayor in 2013, she was a councillor for  for seven years working hard to make improvements in the community and support local residents. She was also Civic Mayor in 2009/10’ She won by 639 votes from Peter Davies.

The Civic Mayor for Doncaster (2016/17) is Councillor David Nevett

History

Doncaster Mayor
English Democrat Peter Davies replaced outgoing Doncaster Mayor Martin Winter  having campaigned for a cut in councillor numbers from 63 to 21. He pushed the Labour candidate into third place winning on the second preference system. The anti-EU former schoolteacher has also called for a referendum on the future governance of the borough and the end to council literature being translated into other languages. He is quoted “We have had a corrupt and spendaholic council and Doncaster is laughed at all over the country. I will get rid of the dreadful political correctness and introduce a refreshingly open regime.” Doncaster was  put into government intervention in 2010. The running of children’s services, was overseen by the government since 2009, has now been transferred to an independent trust.

Rosier View
Rosie Winterton (Minister for Yorkshire and Humber and Department for Work and Pensions at the last count) and MP for Doncaster Central grew up in Doncaster and is proud of the town’s rich and varied history as well as how it has helped shaped the country today according to her web site. ‘Doncaster stands on the site of the Roman settlement Danum. It is the largest geographic Metropolitan Borough in the country with an area in excess of 225 square miles… Transport coal and steel have been the core industries around Doncaster and Rosie reports how it was the first public proclamation that helped create the original Labour Party:
‘Thomas R Steels was a railway signalman working for the Great Northern Railway Company who moved to Doncaster in around 1891. In March 1899, Steels drafted a famous resolution, at the Good Woman public house on St Sepulchregate, on labour representation in Parliament. The motion called on the TUC “That this congress, having regard to its decisions of former years, and with a view to securing a better representation of the interests of labour in the House of Commons, hereby instructs the Parliamentary Committee to invite the cooperation of all the cooperative, socialistic, trade union and other working class organisations to jointly cooperate on the lines mutually agreed upon …….’
So I am left wondering if much has really changed?

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint is now the former Minister for Europe. Well I think least said! Flint was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs’ expense details secret but then decided to work from the back benches.With ‘the house’ expenses scandal maybe we have got a ‘Flippin’ Government’ with lots of fishy smells.

Summary

Doncaster has been badly served by local and national politicians for decades. They are not alone and several venerable northern communities are  in similar circumstances. Changes at Doncaster need time to evolve and it will be interesting to see how the town copes over the next decade.
In business there is a style of management referred to as Kipper Management, ‘Two Faced and no Backbone’.

Rotherham Rant 2

It is 6 years since the first rant was published – see below

Only now are there any signs of getting to grips with the myriad problems for this town.

In a couple more years I will revisit the improvements and local governance changes.

The more we see and read the more perverse the world of social services seems to be. The ‘politically incorrect brigade’ who removed children from foster parents because they are members of a political party are rightly in the firing line.

Should someone resign for fostering the children with these parents in the first place?
Certainly someone must now depart from their job or elected office because they must be wrong from the start or dead wrong now when they take the kids away.
Sadly no one in public life seems inclined to own up and takes responsibility by resigning (unless the pay out is worthwhile).
In Rotherham they were kipping on the job but it is the kids who will find it hard to kip as they are moved from home to home.

Secrecy seems to trump commonsense in many of these situations. We may never know what has gone on behind the scenes as the truth is often covered up in the guise of protecting the children. Christopher Booker writes in the Daily Telegraph ‘Our ‘child protection’ system is severely dysfunctional, but it has not come to the centre of national attention because it hides its workings behind a veil of secrecy ………’

Blame culture, self interest, financial chicanery, obfuscation and buck passing have become national diseases. I have half a mind to vote for a different set of politicians (if I thought they would make a difference) and half a mind is all you need to vote in our current party system. Come on Rotherham show us how to do it in your by-election

Rotherham ... GREGGS.
Photo credit Rotherham … GREGGS. by BazzaDaRambler CC BY 2.0