Mr Teflon – the questions that must be answered

An interesting set of questions?

“Today Rothpol has supplied us with serious questions posed by the commendable Andrew Norfolk.

Joyce Thacker was an influential member of the child protection body which was the safeguarding panel. On which details of the ethnicity of the perpetrators were withheld purposely for the idealism of community cohesion.

One missing factor here is that of Mr Bubbles, Mr Teflon, Mr Clean. That being the new leader Paul Lakin. Whilst he has so far managed to wade his way through the manure and come out smelling of roses it is important we do not so easily let someone with his kind of involvement lead a supposed break with the past. He is the past.

Mr Lakin was also on this child protection body that the Times talk of today. He was the cabinet member for Children and Young People during the dates mentioned in the article, he also was a leading influential member of the child protection body and its was in his time that talks of ethnicity was hidden for the sake of community cohesion and the threatening of the times with High Court injunction.

Mr Teflon is not all that he portrays himself to be.”

24 thoughts on “Mr Teflon – the questions that must be answered

  1. Lakin is the lesser known face-and name-of the evil men and women who turned a blind eye to the crimes against young people.
    His exit door is already marked.

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  2. Can I suggest you get your own life in order before attacking other individuals. From what I gather you have a few Skeletons banging on the closet door. Knock Knock.

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  3. It is worth reading the extract from the HASC Report 2013 (already on Rotherham Politics) which goes back to 2010 (and during both Shaun Wright’s and Paul Lakin’s time of ‘heavy’ responsibility for Children’s Services). It provides a succinct but damming description of what was going on). This was when Joyce Thacker also referred to CSE prosecutions ‘being the icing on the cake’ and Martin Kimber just said ‘he didn’t know’.

    55. Both Rochdale and Rotherham Councils were inexcusably slow to realise that the widespread, organised sexual abuse of children, many of them in the care of the local authority, was taking place on their doorstep. This is due in large part to a woeful lack of professional curiosity or indifference, from the council Chief Executive who claims to have known nothing about the problem during his first decade in post, to the Director of Children’s Services who saw prosecution of sex offenders as a desirable but ancillary goal, through the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board which tried to suppress criticisms in a Serious Case Review, to the individual practitioners who, in a chilling confirmation of the abusers’ blackmail and threats, dismissed the victims— children as young as 12—as ‘prostitutes’. That it took so long for anybody, at any level from the Chief Executive downward, to look at reports of young girls with multiple, middle-aged ‘boyfriends’, hanging around takeaways, drinking and taking drugs, and to think that it might be worth investigating further, is shocking. Because of the widespread publicity, not least due to the investigative journalism of Andrew Norfolk.

    119 Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board, Serious Case Review in respect of Child S, Executive Summary, p13 120 Q 281 121 Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board, Serious Case Review in respect of Child S, Executive Summary, p13 122 Ofsted, Inspection of local authority arrangements for the protection of children, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, p12

    28 Child sexual exploitation and the response to localised grooming.
    That it took so long for anybody, at any level from the Chief Executive downward, to look at reports of young girls with multiple, middle-aged ‘boyfriends’, hanging around takeaways, drinking and taking drugs, and to think that it might be worth investigating further, is shocking. Because of the widespread publicity, not least due to the investigative journalism of Andrew Norfolk in The Times and the subsequent public outrage, both local authorities now recognise the nature and extent of localised grooming, and have made improvements to the way that they deal with children and young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation. However, it is clear that senior leadership in both Rochdale and Rotherham councils failed in their duty of care towards these girls.in The Times and the subsequent public outrage, both local authorities now recognise the nature and extent of localised grooming, and have made improvements to the way that they deal with children and young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation. However, it is clear that senior leadership in both Rochdale and Rotherham councils failed in their duty of care towards these girls. We are surprised that, with child sexual exploitation remaining a problem in Rotherham, the council was considered to have made sufficient progress to have its notice to improve lifted by the Department for Education in 2011.

    So where are we currently? We have yet another RMBC Improvement Board (the third in as many years) and oh, where is Shaun Wright’s three pronged report he refers to in this HASC report? Let alone the previous Improvement Board reports and evaluations. Yet the Labour run Council (from top to bottom) continue to maintain they knew nothing. The continued silence from the Voluntary Sector is interesting. Don’t they have a view given their engagement with vulnerable children and involvement with the senior strategy decision making of Children’s Services and SYP?

    What a pity Professor Alexis Jay did not interview Andrew Norfolk as did Keith Vaz last year. Her evidence base would have been even more revealing. Maybe then MPsChampion, Healey and Barron (who were having a very public go at SYP on local TV today) would have woken woken up to their very own lack of ‘professional curiosity’ evident in Rotherham’s culture (which Keith Vaz refers to in Rotherham’s evidence before the Select Committee in 2013) regarding the scale and problem of CSE.

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    • Sarah Champion only became an MP in 2012, after Andrew Norfolks article in the Times. It is difficult to see how she can be blamed for things that happened prior to her taking office. Since then she has by all accounts worked with the victims and their families to try and get justice and support for them, and continues to do so. I get the feeling she isn’t getting much help from the local Labour group with this. Remember, had the local Labour group got their way Mahroof Hussain would now be MP for Rotherham. How much help do you think he would be giving to the victims?

      I am all for naming and shaming those who knew but did nothing, I am against people being made scapegoats for other peoples failings.

      I agree, it would have been good if Prof Jay had interviewed Andrew Norfolk, but as it goes, the report confirmed what he said.

      I also agree that both Kevin Barron and John Healey should be asked some serious questions about what they knew, preferably by the HASC, and preferably under oath, the same as Kimber, Thacker, Wright et al.

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  4. Paul Lakin is the ‘business as usual’ replacement Leader.
    He took over from his mate Shaun in 2010 and seems to have done everything in his power to maintain the cover-up, for at least another three years. Damaged below the waterline then.
    He is a part of the problem, not part of the solution. Time to go!

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  5. Sarah Champion became MP over two years ago knowing (or should have known given the significant reports over the past decade from a variety of sources regarding Child CSE in Rotherham), the full impact of what was going on.

    Not least in 2013, she threw her energies into chairing ‘The Report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation for tackling child sexual exploitation and trafficking within the UK’ which she is keen to remind us about. Her evidence submissions included RMBC, SYP and Steve Smith of Wilbur Smith.

    I wonder how (as chair) the report’s findings were best maximised for the good of child victims in Rotherham and to further inform SYP, RMBC and Labour councillors who still continue to maintain ‘we knew nothing’. They need to benefit quickly from any added value of its recommendations.

    http://www.barnardos.org.uk/cse_parliamentary_inquiry_report-2.pdf

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  6. Labour’s due diligence, woeful that Lakin survived the cut!
    Two more duds remain, however?
    One referred to in the Alexis Jay report, and the other that looked the other way?
    You figure it out.

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  7. To Tomorrow is another day:

    Yes I agree the Voluntary and Private Sector are too quiet. They had a major involvement too. And a great deal of scandal is to come out about this in the long run. As I have detailed on here – and elsewhere for the last 15 years. But as for staying too quiet – the members of the Police Authority during the period have too re what actually went on – I often wonder why – I mean come on – if the members of Police Authority claim they didn’t know then who did? Personally I feel a lot as yet to come out re this. And I won’t let it go until all the questions and concerns are answered.

    I wouldn’t put all you eggs in one basket politically – many of the Police Authority were not Labour. And they ALL – whatever political hue – are not answering the questions posed. There will be some very interesting issues to come out about this when it finally emerges. And some major embarrassments – very big ones – indeed. The same can also be said about ALL at the infamous seminar – again not ALL Labour – a lot of ‘other local politicians’ also have a lot to hide and account for in my opinion. Of course that opinion could change if they’d only give the full 100% details of what went on. But I suppose I will have to ask at more official levels.

    What I can say however is that MS Champion has helped me greatly over this issue of CSE and related other malpractice at RMBC – and not just since the poo hit the wind machine. If you are simply after scalps for the sake of it that is your right – but I am not.

    Personally, I don’t give two hoots what party people belong to – if ANYONE knew about the CSE during the period, stayed quiet, or did nothing, they should account and be accountable for that fully. I won’t get dragged down in to politicizing the issue. I never will. I will leave that to the people who wrongly see it has a political issue – for their own benefit and gain mostly – and simply carry on focusing on the real big issue – namely who know what (elected or otherwise) and what did they know / do or didn’t know / do to address it.

    SKT
    .
    I think MS Champion is the ONLY local politician that has shown interest and campaigned well.

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    • SKT – thank you, In fact I don’t think we are worlds apart.

      You mention my ‘putting all my eggs in one basket’ and ‘ politicizing the issue’ and I think you misunderstand me. Hence my post.

      What is not in doubt is that Safeguarding failed in all sectors: Voluntary and Private, SYP, CPS, RMBC officers and elected members.

      It is significant to mention that as RMBC has a Labour majority (and three MPs) any decision and policy making has gone unswayed and unchallenged because of that.

      Having sat in the Full Council Meeting last week and watched 100% of Labour Councillors vote for a motion they had not seen or heard of before filled me with horror and left me in no doubt that policy development and decision making had little integrity on the part of RMBC.

      I cannot comment on other sectors as I have not witnessed their processes of decision making.

      However, continuing to ‘knock’ any sector (and it happened to be three Labour MPs having a go at the ‘Police’) achieves nothing. Not least for the victims or the prevention of any more suffering.

      In fact, there has been plenty of ‘scalp calling’ from Sarah Champion MP when the urgency is for protecting our children and enabling an Enquiry to seek out the reasons for what prevented that. Any ‘scalp calling’ will be a consequence of other processes and procedures not mine. L

      Hope this clarifies things

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  8. Why is it in all these posts in all these threads no one has mentioned Mr Roger Stone …. If you resign at first available opportunity …. are you above being questioned ?. I would like to hear what he did / did not know as he was the council leader. Surly he deserves the title of Mr Teflon.

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  9. I can see the point behind this. Mr Lakin announces a smaller cabinet and some spare money and everyone thinks this is a new beginning. You cannot possibly have a new beginning with the illness that got you to where you are now. His new cabinet is filled (John Doyle the exception) with his own chums. There is also dirt on these people. If the Labour party had any sense then they would not hold back and have a clear out of people like these so called saviours.

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    • John Doyle – thick as two short planks, incompetent and totally lacking in aptitude or curiosity. He is every bit as bad as his chums, on Labour’s list of Ten! Another one, up before the voters next May!

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  10. Having found this blog when the CSE scandal hit the headlines three something weeks ago I have found it to be a pool of information. It is without doubt we have a rotten borough on our hands. I like many others want to see those responsible for this failure have some comeuppance. I agree that Mr Lakin has come out lightly here. He was as guilty as any other and complicit. I have took upon myself to start a petition that will be delivered to Mr Lakin himself. If you would consider signing it or sharing it then I would be grateful.

    https://www.change.org/p/councillor-paul-lakin-resign-now

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  11. What is funny is the fact that Labour will still put out the same old tired faces and expect people to vote for them. Lakin will be gone May if not before. Looks like they will need a new re-shuffle of the cabinet as four members of it are up for re-election (unless they are replaced by more credible candidates).

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    • Whats even funnier is mr lakin is my ward councillor and its my intention the stand against him in the election. He was elected for the ward to represent them not himself and did nothing over the CSEand even though he knew everything.Now he is leader and picks a cabinet whom will never question his judgment. Well i will in may ask the ward voters to question him at the ballot box

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  12. This post makes sense in the fact that Mr Lakin has managed somehow to avoid the pressure but what I have been most dumbfounded by is the fact that two other Asian councillors were expelled but Mr Hussain manages to stay in his position without any loss when we all know he surely must have been complicit as the other two if not more? What is going on?

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  13. Tomorrow’s Another Day.

    I agree we are not far apart. My issue being that others in other parties have questions to answer and either refuse to do so or have gone quiet. Regarding this I am taking it higher and will keep all informed. I have never been a member of any political party. (Although considering the emails I get from all parties who’s blogs I comment on – each seem to think I am a amber of theirs lol) and therefore I tend to take the bigger picture than most.

    I also give credit were credit is due. Hence my explanation re Ms Champion. Who I will be seeing about other related issues as a constituent later. While many other local politicians have shouted and raged and done nothing in reality, she has simply helped and guided on a non political basis. Hence my knowledge and explanation.

    I have been ‘involved’ in outing this issue for many years and have paid a high price. But hey ho that’s life. However, I have become concerned how some seem to politicize the issue (not you) when what is at issue is accountability and justice.

    Re you comment: ” What is not in doubt is that Safeguarding failed in all sectors:Voluntary and Private, SYP, CPS, RMBC officers and elected members. and elected members.”

    I agree – it is a MAJOR ISSUE in the scandal – and that is what I have been trying to draw people’s attention to. As well as the role of the Police Authority 2003 – 05 and seminar in the scandal.

    Re your comment (detailed earlier) A lot of names have yet to come out – of ALL political hues – as well as non elected officials – and also many involved in the so called safeguarding system. What we had in Rotherham (and nationally) wasn’t an accountable system of support aimed at victims and people – it was a business model that paid regard to simply stats, profit, contracts,empire building, and personal power. Regarding this I don’t blame the councillors of all hues (although they have much to answer on other related issues) I blame the Voluntary and Private agencies, SYP, CPS, RMBC officers who colluded and fiddled while Rotherham burned. (And I don’t do so without basis)

    The abuse of power within the aforementioned sectors was criminal. I am hoping to prove that soon however long it takes me. Indeed I know, not believe but know, that this collusion goes on elsewhere in other parts of the country. Why? First hand experience of exposing it – first hand experience of being bullied because I did – and first hand experience of being told to shut up or face the consequences – which I didn’t and did.

    Like I say – there’s a lot of big business money and contracts for all agencies in Social Care nowadays. And I saw first hand how this money (and self interest and power) corrupted.

    SKT xxxx

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