Labour’s inadequate response

On the day that marks one full month into the latest exposure of the worst scandal to afflict any Labour Council ever in the UK.

This scandal will also prove to be, the most expensive ever to resolve, without a doubt.

It is time to review the response of Ed Miliband’s Labour Party, in what for him, is his own ‘backyard’ politically. After all, Ed Miliband is the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North!

Alarm Bells should be ringing for Labour in South Yorkshire, yet their response so far has been far more limited than the people want:

Roger Stone the Ex Leader, Labour Membership Suspended.

Ann Russell Councillor for Silverwood Ward, Labour Membership Suspended.

Jahangir Akhtar the ex-Councillor for West Ward, Labour Membership Suspended.

Shaukat Ali, Councillor for East Ward, Labour Membership Suspended.

Shaun Wright the SYPCC forced out resigned from Labour, who now say he will not be welcome back.

A ‘New’ Cabinet:

• Cllr Paul Lakin, Leader of the Council

• Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Deputy Leader of the Council

• Cllr John Doyle – Adult Social Care and Health

• Cllr Dominic Beck – Business Growth and Regeneration

• Cllr Mahroof Hussain – Environment

• Cllr Christine Beaumont – Children and Education Services

• Cllr Maggie Godfrey – Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods

This group contains a majority, that cannot possibly deny they knew, according to the Alexis Jay Report, unsuitable therefore to be in the Council Leadership.

The Labour Party have taken control of the process, by which next year’s Labour Panel of candidates will be selected.

I understand the Labour Party is to interview ten members they have selected, who may or may not be allowed to continue sitting on the Council as Labour Members. Only ten! Would be my reaction, there are Cabinet members who should be on their list!

Paul Lakin was advised of the ten, before selecting his cabinet and this bunch is what he came up with, oh dear!

When the party in power, has made such a mess as to completely loose all legitimacy, elections are the only way to restore their mandate and credibility. This is what the people are demanding and Ed Miliband must give us them, if Labour are to have any electoral legitimacy!

Rik

45 thoughts on “Labour’s inadequate response

  1. Yes , the Labour Party’s response to-date has been totally inadequate, bordering on shameful. Whilst Keith Vaz and his Select Committee and Sarah Champion have been speaking out loudly, only the Party can sort out Rotherham Labour.

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  2. I agree with every word Rik. It speaks volumes for the contempt that Labour are showing towards the Rotherham electorate. As for the selection, it is well known there is a number of Labour ‘activists’ who are for more representative of Rotherham than this lot but they will once again be sidelined at selection time for the same old tired faces. Complacency at its worst!

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  3. Could Doncaster be on the brink of a similar scandal. The Labour Leader is MP in Doncaster.
    see
    http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1146780/exclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings?utm_content=&utm_campaign=180914%20daily&utm_source=Children%20%26%20Young%20People%20Now&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cypnow.co.uk%2Fcyp%2Fnews%2F1146780%2Fexclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings
    ————————————————————————————————
    Doncaster launches review into child sexual exploitation ‘failings’

    By Neil Puffett, Thursday 18 September 2014
    Neil Puffett Chief reporter
    neil.puffett@markallengroup.com
    020 7501 6793

    A review has been launched into the way social services in Doncaster and South Yorkshire police deal with children at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE), CYP Now can reveal. – See more at: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1146780/exclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings?utm_content=&utm_campaign=180914%20daily&utm_source=Children%20%26%20Young%20People%20Now&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cypnow.co.uk%2Fcyp%2Fnews%2F1146780%2Fexclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings#sthash.DOetJ1hI.dpuf

    30 September

    The internal probe is being carried out by the authority’s local safeguarding children board following an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which highlighted failings with the way children in residential care who are at risk of CSE are dealt with by authorities.

    It comes just weeks after South Yorkshire Police came under intense criticism after an investigation into child sexual exploitation in nearby Rotherham – just 12 miles away from Doncaster – estimated there had been 1,400 victims in the town between 1997 and 2013.

    News of the review – which features in a progress report into the state of children’s services in Doncaster set for discussion at a council meeting next week – comes just days before children’s services at the authority are due to be transferred to an independent trust.

    The report reveals that an HMIC inspection of South Yorkshire Police’s work on safeguarding children, which was carried out in May but is yet to be published, found “failings” in the way the council and South Yorkshire Police had responded to the cases of “a small number of children” in a Doncaster Council children’s home.

    The report admits that prior to January 2014, there was no dedicated team working on CSE in Doncaster, but says the authority has now brought specialist CSE police officers and social care practitioners together with other professionals to form one CSE team.

    “Since [the HMIC inspection], we have reviewed the way we work together and have focused attention on improving our response to concerns around child sexual exploitation,” the report states.

    However, recruiting professionals to tackle CSE has proved an issue.

    The report reveals there was initially only one social worker in the CSE team, working alongside five detective constables, a detective sergeant, a senior education welfare officer, a worker from Barnardo’s and a health worker funded from public health.

    Since July, the authority has agreed funding for an additional three social worker posts and a team manager post, but the posts are yet to be filled permanently – there is currently an interim team manager and two agency social workers in place.

    The report adds that the review being conducted by Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board will assist the authority in its future work on the response to child sexual exploitation.

    Details of the review form part of a progress report into improvements made within children’s services at Doncaster between July 2013 and September 2014.

    The report, by director of children’s services Eleanor Brazil, points to good progress overall, but concludes that there are a number of areas for further improvement, including the long-term response to children at risk of child sexual exploitation, quality of provision for young people leaving care, and recruitment and retention of staff.

    An independent trust that will run the majority of children’s services in Doncaster is due to launch on 30 September.

    Plans for a trust were first announced by the government in July 2013 in order to create a “decisive break” from serious child protection failings at the department dating back to 2009, when it was placed under government supervision.

    A report by Alan Wood, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), who acted as commissioner of the trust during the set-up process, reveals that establishment of a trust has cost about £6.5m.

    Eleanor Brazil said: “The sexual exploitation of children is a problem in all towns and cities and Doncaster is no different.

    “It is a very complex issue that is difficult to tackle as often it remains a hidden issue with people failing to recognise signs of abuse and victims being reluctant to come forward.

    “Sexual abuse is an issue we have been aware of for many years and we are committed to tackling vigorously.

    “Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board, like others up and down the country is considering our working arrangements to ensure we are doing everything we can to tackle these dreadful crimes.

    “We have made good progress and will continue to make necessary improvements to support our vulnerable young people.

    “We are working hard to encourage people and organisations to report any concerns, all of which are taken extremely seriously and investigated fully.”
    – See more at: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1146780/exclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings?utm_content=&utm_campaign=180914%20daily&utm_source=Children%20%26%20Young%20People%20Now&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cypnow.co.uk%2Fcyp%2Fnews%2F1146780%2Fexclusive-doncaster-launches-review-child-sexual-exploitation-failings#sthash.DOetJ1hI.dpuf

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  4. Wearing Devil’s Advocate’s Hat:
    It must be incredibly difficult for Labour party councillors on RMBC to find and elect a Leader from amongst themselves who is not tainted by the CSE scandal and who can and will provide RMBC with the leadership required to get to the bottom of who knew what and when, then to give their supporters-and residents- real reasons why they should not be consigned to the dustbin next May.
    I hold no brief for the Labour party nor its policies but it does provide a voice for people who do not and will not accept anything else but Labour, have always voted for the Labour party and now feel betrayed. This ‘disaffected majority’ may or may not give their votes to the opposition parties next year but that will be a short term solution.
    The Labour party needs to up the ante and show the electorate it is not the party of the past two decades. Unfortunately the current RMBC Cabinet membership shows that lessons have not been learned and it is quite possible the Labour party in Rotherham could be voted into obscurity for many years to come.
    The party policy makers who live in the metropolitan bubble appear to have dismissed their Rotherham members and left them to burn in the blaze of bad publicity.

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    • I am happy to step up and lead Rotherham Labour if invited….in five years time! They used to be my political spiritual home. In the meantime I must stand outside as an Independent. What choice for folk in Rotherham now? UKIP talk a lot of sense but major on immigration too much and their stances on EU exit and overseas aid are spectacularly counter productive. How can we influence any global scenario from outside? How can we stop making the UK such a draw for immigrants unless we make life in their countries better through overseas aid? But the rest is extremes of right and left or the three main parties who have lost their link to ordinary people. I think Labour are a tainted brand here in Rotherham. I maybe proved wrong next May but I can see local Labour imploding…

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      • rev, quick but sincere question
        What UKIP thinking do you feel makes “a lot of sense”; surely not their stance on climate change?
        I totally agree with you on the ones that you describe as “spectacularly counter productive”.

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  5. An old saying but true… ‘We get the government we deserve.’ In the case of a democracy, that is true in my view. The obvious truth from those outside looking in is, Labour has failed in every aspect of life in Rotherham . Why Rotherham has voted Labour for generations is beyond belief and looking to Labour to bring about solutions to the present troubles , equals looking to a dead man to bring home the bacon.,… When visiting Rotherham on my visits from New Zealand it is very clear that it is a very poor town. Evidence of it everywhere one looks… A few pockets of wealth seem visible but very few. I believe politics in England in general tell people ‘ what to think and not how to think’ Education has failed our children and social media has become our children’s educators. We have allowed it.
    While this continues folks, it will be business as usual. Please stop looking to Labour people only to serve Rotherham well and it’s people. We need people of wisdom, insight , honesty and integrity to help govern our nations and communities.
    If people don’t have a clear idea of who they are voting for and why; then don’t vote.
    On a personal note, my husband and I voted Labour because our parents and grandparents did. We emigrated to NZ in 1966 arriving with 16 pounds to our name and 2 kids. We went on to have 5 children with my husband working only. We were able to buy a nice home with government help and raise our children in a rural environment.. NZ at that time had a conservative government for decades. It was near paradise by comparison . Extreme wealth and poverty were nowhere to be seen. Crime very low. Jack was good as his master. The boss and workers were neighbors . Times have changed quite a bit here as more and more politicians are telling our children ‘what to think and not how to think critically.’
    I hope that it’s not too late for my old home town, but can’t see much reason to hope for change at the present time. In the case of a cancer left untreatable for a long time the outcome is usually fairly certain. , It only takes a few good and courageous men and women to start the process of recovery. Look to them and not to a party is a start.

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    • Linda ,
      I have a much sympathy with what you write. The phrase “cycles of deprivation” comes to mind, but it’s certainly not just Labour that must shoulder the blame,
      As for NZ , the egalitarian environment you experience there, can also be experienced across almost all mainland Western Europe, once you are north of Italy and miss-out France.

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  6. Regular reader you are right the Labour
    Party has too many middle class members whose only interest is themselves and an easy career half of them have never had a real job nor know anything about the true roots of the Labour movement. Their knowledge of the evolution of the Labour Party and its connections with the Trade Union movement is sadly lacking.Other interest is the money not the people they represent who should come first. Return to Clause 4 and they may have some luck at present they are just another milder form of the Tory Part. I rest my case

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  7. Re the “interviews with ten people”.
    Lets hope Cllr Burton is on the list, she was asked again to resign at an Anston Parish Council Meeting, she of course did not. Also our ex Mayor/RMBC councillor Cllr St John was asked if he attended the 2005 meeting, more blustering, he basically said it could not be discussed at a Parish Meeting, how convenient. The other Cllr who attended the 2005 meeting Cllr Stonebridge did not bother to turn up again. If you want to see the questions/antics of Anston Parish Council, go to Lovedinnington web page, the questions are near the end of the meeting.
    Labour Party take note, the Cllr Burton issue is not going away, more squirming, more wriggling, its getting the Labour Party a bad name in Anston and it looks like she will be facing a lot of bad publicity in the Elections

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      • For anyone else who watches the filmed shambles at APC; from the left Cllr’s. Burton, Thornton,Jepson, Bridges and Jarvis. St.John makes his appearance at 26:31 in Part 1
        .
        Labour Cllr’s who did not bother to attend :Beck. Brindley. Crowther. Dalton. O’Brien. Stonebridge. Wardle. Their attitude symbolises the contempt Labour councillors have for residents not only in Anston but throughout the Borough.

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      • Hi regular – UKIP want power to be devolved down to people, that seems sensible. I haven’t thought enough about the rest of their policies yet to come to a firmer opinion. Please enlighten me on their other shortcomings which I cant quite put my finger on at the mo!

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      • Rev,
        That’s going to take a while, their policies for the coming parliamentary election are not yet published. I’m not even sure that the policy doc. on Energy (and thus climate change) is still relevant – even though it was only published earlier this year. But I’ll get back on it all as soon as the Conference is over. At least Fullfact will be checking the facts/factoids that come out of the speeches at the Party Conferences – they are rigorous good guys.
        _________________
        The whole US/France and now UK response to ISIS is my main interest at the moment. Although I never got to Iraq, I know most other countries in the region fairly well.
        (Just been listening to Galloway’s speech in the HoC on PM on Radio4, I haven’t never had anytime for the man since I first came across him in his days at War on Want – but I felt that what he said today made some good valid points. But then so did Ann Clwyd in response. I’ll listen to the whole debate later tonight.)

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      • Thanks Regular. Much appreciated. I do think inheritance tax should be scrapped, feels like taxing people twice, also no tax on minimum wage. But these are not policies that make UKIP stand out.

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  8. How big a failing do they need before all standing down?
    When wood has rot is is better to burn it.
    They have no shame; and no place in publiclife – the Nolan principles – are they trying to break them all?
    This country has fallen into a morass.
    Gather at all council meetings and demand they step down.

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    • I think it’s very wrong how any councillor can be in this cabinet who as been in a position of authority whilst child grooming was going on. Whilst this is the situation I will never vote labour.
      All should be held to account and suspended whilst investigations take place. How after those meetings published could any one of these councillors not have known what was going on, not even a glimmer of information . Apologising does not cut it , what was needed was action.

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  9. The serious matter of Child Sexual Exploitation can and should be discussed anywhere. If ex Borough Cllr Iain St does not want it discussed at Anston Parish Council, Why not – Because he attended the 2005 Seminar on the very subject? What did he do – we are entitled to know, Of course if it was nothing then he would want it kept quiet, wouldn’t he.

    As for Jo Burton – What does she do when challenged – just laughs. Well this discredited and callous woman may just be laughing on the other side of her face in the not too distant future.

    DISGUSTING PAIR

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    • Yes this is very upsetting if this is the case, it certainly is not a laughing matter. Is their anyway we as a public could get our voices heard. It certainly needs all these situations bringing into the media,s attention or someone who can take it forward what is happening in these area meetings. Maybe we need a public meeting, or maybe Rothpol could take this forum into a live event ,not sure how we could do that,and how much interest their would be ,but I feel we need a school hall or something and have speakers who know what to do and say in such a meeting. Just a thought. I guess their would be lots of fore and against this suggestion. But as things stand at the moment ,I cannot see how changes will ever be made in this little town.

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  10. Would that not be convenient for labour to withdraw the whip from 10 more councillors. It allows them to say they’ve done something, while keeping them just above the threshold of a comfortable majority on the council.

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    • @skywalker
      Your proposition would really shout ‘Fudge’. Why just withdraw the whip? If you are going to discipline someone then do it properly instead of a “we think you might be just a little bit guilty” slap on the wrist.
      In any proper organisation wrongdoers are suspended-often without pay-while investigations into serious allegations are carried out. Why should any political party be different?

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  11. It has now been a month since the Jay report. Despite it now being proven there was a report that named people, establishments and takeaway shops, there have still been no arrests! Labours response has been inadequate but what about the Police? Surely there is a copy of the Risky Business report. Put it in the public domain so at least we know how to keep our children safe and who from!

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  12. There have been over 100 babies produced through this scandal, surely it would be easy to find out who the mothers were, they in turn would tell the Police who raped them, and then all the Police would have to do is take DNA samples from the baby, mother and these suspects to get a match?

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    • Sounds simple enough Manc. Always assuming of course that the victims knew the true identity of their abuser/s. Many of the victims were assaulted by more than one person, so establishing who is the biological father might not be as straight forward as all that. Plus, you seem to forget that many victims were trafficked to other areas of the country, numerous times in some cases. Do you expect the victims to provide the names and addresses of men they had never met before, who live in towns they had never been to before? I’m no expert, but I would guess the chances of them being able to do that are somewhere between slim and none. It’s not as easy as you make it sound.

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      • How would anyone know that over 100 babies had been born if their mothers hadn’t already come forward? There are many reasons why the victims would not know the perpetrators, and also why they might not wish to take a criminal case forward – all well documented in the Jay report.

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  13. Why have the towns 3 MPs not been interviewed by Vaz on oath together with macshame?

    As they knew or should have known what was going off to the victims – their constituents kids?

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    • Let’s get rid of labour in 2015 sorry no 12k you have lost election is job centre ok for 60 pound
      12 k for sitting in a community centre at 10am on sat Rotherham people are a sleep at that time

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      • ‘at 10am on sat Rotherham people are a sleep at that time’
        Whaaat? Who do you know who is still in bed at 10am? Perhaps someone who has been working a night shift maybe or suffering from illness but responsible people are up and out of bed by no later than 8am IME, even earlier if you’ve got a job to go to or parent(s) of young children
        Tossers and dossers stay in their beds till half the morning has passed. Ideal Labour cannon fodder.

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  14. Ed Milliband is MP in Doncaster, he must have known what was going on. He should be standing down too. He as Labour Leader must have known what was going on in Rotherham and yes Doncaster, someone is bound to have told or discussed it with him as leader!!! What did he do to help these young people? looks like he just ignored the problem and covered his own back, as the rest of the MP’s in South Yorkshire did, including the Leader of the Lib Dems in MP in Sheffield, South Yorkshire Police cover his district too. These two leaders should be asked questions and held to account. The public have a right to have MP’s they can trust.

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