Breaking News – Home Affairs Select Committee – Thacker & Kimber to appear

From Parliament’s website:

08 January 2013
3:30 pm

Subject: Localised child grooming
Witness(es): Martin Kimber, Chief Executive, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Joyce Thacker, Director of Children’s Services, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Location: The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

Committee Chair Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

“Rotherham Council has been accused of failing to protect young people in the local area who suffered from horrific sexual abuse. We will be asking who knew what, and when and why no action was taken for so many years.

We will also be looking into what changes have taken place in order to support and protect victims of localised grooming.”

So there we have it, another grilling after way less than satisfactory performances previously and after Andrew Norfolk’s answers to the committee before Christmas.

5 thoughts on “Breaking News – Home Affairs Select Committee – Thacker & Kimber to appear

  1. From Chris Longley MBE

    This is good news in more than one way.

    It means that Councillor Shaun Wright, now Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, who was Chair of the Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board (Panel?) for half a decade is not now being called to give oral evidence at the same time as MsThacker.

    In my correspondence with the Senior Committee Assistant of the Home Affairs Select Committee I have also made it clear that it would be inappropriate for Councillor Wright to give evidence at the same session to which the present South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton QPM is also invited.

    The present Chief Constable was asked by the Select Committee to report on the new arrangements being put in place to prevent any repetition of systemic or other gang-based child abuse in the future, and especially about the police role in those new arrangements. It might also be helpful if, this time, the Select Committee actually listens to what the Chief Constable has to say to them about the actions he is taking.

    Councillor Wright for his part will presumably be called to give evidence in respect of what he knew, when he knew it and what instructions did he give in respect of the systemic child abuse that happened in Rotherham during his tenure as Chair of the Safeguarding Children’s Board (Panel?) for half a decade.

    There will be significant public interest in his evidence.

    As soon as I hear from the Senior Committee Assistant of the Home Affairs Select Committee about the date and timing of the session to which Councillor Wright is invited, I will inform the blog.

    Kind regards and a Happy New Year

    Chris Longley MBE

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  2. Shaun Wright will go before the HASC on his own, unless Stone offers to sit and hold his hand!

    You are correct Chris there will be significant interest in his appearance from both the local and national press, they are waiting.

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  3. I intend being at tomorrow’s session in Westminster in person. If you can’t be and want to watch the session at 3.30pm, it will be webcast live via http://www.parliamentlive.tv
    As I understand it, Shaun Wright will appear before a future session. I’ll be sure not to miss that one either.

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  4. From Chris Longley

    Dear Gillian Radcliffe

    Thank you for your perseverance on these issues. If my work commitments permit, I will watch the webcast for which you so kindly have provided a link.

    I share your understanding that Councillor Wright will appear before a future session of the Home Affairs Select Committee in regard to his former role as Chair of the Rotherham Childrens Safeguarding Board (Panel?). I hope that the current South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton QPM will, however, not be giving evidence at that same session.

    Such a joint attendance would raise potential conflicts of accountability that might blur who was responsible as the Chair of the Rotherham Childrens Safeguarding Board (Panel?) in the half decade during which the systemic abuse of Rotherham children took place.

    It will be interesting to learn what the RMBC officers have to say to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the very near future about what Councillor Wright knew, when he knew it and what he then did in these matters of systemic child rape and abuse publicly reported. The distinction between officer responsibility and elected member responsibility as interpreted by the officers will be interesting, and will be studied clearly by comparison with the evidence that Councillor Wright gives on these issues of events and responsibilities in due course.

    Kind regards to all, and in particular to you Gillian Radcliffe for your continuing efforts

    Chris Longley MBE

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