Gillian Radcliffe the Independent candidate in the election for PCC for South Yorkshire left these remarks as a comment, far too pertinent to risk missing:
“I am astonished that the council trivialises the issues by choosing to focus on its members supposed victimisation by people on this forum instead of putting every power and resource at its disposal into child protection.
I can’t believe that these hardened politicians are so thin skinned and so out of touch with the ethos of accountability that they cannot cope with some hard questions from people who, for whatever reason, feel unable to publicly identify themselves. That is a disgracefully self-centred approach when there is so much positive work you would be doing.
Please, ladies and gentlemen of Rotherham MBC, get over it and put your attention on the real victims. Give people a reason to praise you rather than lambast you.
These are not crimes that are unstoppable or unsolvable. Your vital role, and one that I see no evidence of you fultilling so far, is to draw the community together through information and action that will help to prevent any reoccurance. How many lives are being blighted by your lack of action? How much public money is having to be poured into the consequences of that inaction through criminal investigations and support services for children who need never have been victims in the first place.
Of course, it isn’t only your responsibility to deal with this matter. But you are in a unique position to make a positive change and set in motion a zero-tolerance culture for child abuse. It’s a win-win situation for you and even more so for the current and future victims and their families.
Perhaps you feel this is Rotherham’s shame and that any acknowledgement to deal with it will put the area under negative scrutiny. If so, you are wrong.
This kind of thing is happening in many areas of the UK and, as Cerberus said, some local authorities are tackling it head on. Be one of them. You are influential, you have excellent reach into local communities and you have expertise among your staff and your delivery partners.
Make it count for something and get out of defensive mode into action mode for the sake of Rotherham’s children.”