Pickles to consider governance changes at Rotherham – Local Government Lawyer

Skywalker brought this to my attention, thanks. I am sure some readers would appreciate reading this article for themselves, it is on the Local Government Lawyer, website

Pickles to consider governance changes at Rotherham as commissioners named

The commissioners sent in this week to run Rotherham Council will be asked for their views on what would be the most effective and efficient form of governance for the authority going forwards, the Communities Secretary has said.

In a written ministerial statement Eric Pickles noted suggestions that Rotherham’s governance could be improved – made more transparent and accountable – if it were changed to the committee system.

However, he will seek the views of the commissioners and be open to representations from the public before taking any steps to implement such a change.

http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21940%3Apickles-to-consider-governance-changes-at-rotherham-as-commissioners-named&catid=59&Itemid=27

27 thoughts on “Pickles to consider governance changes at Rotherham – Local Government Lawyer

  1. I hope all those who are responsible for this scandal now truly realise what they have done, not only to the victims of CSE , but the financial burden they have now placed on Rotherham. £700-800 a day for some of these commissioners, all coming out of the council budget. The cost of NCA investigation, coming out of the police budget, utimately we the poor people having vital resources being diverted from much needed services.

    I hope there was a way we could recoup the costs from not inky the vile preptrators , but from all those who knew what was going in and turn the other way.

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  2. “Eric Pickles noted suggestions that Rotherham’s governance could be improved – made more transparent and accountable – if it were changed to the committee system”.
    Not so many weeks ago Cavan Vines suggested this at a Cabinet meeting and Lakin and Hoddinot were amongst the first people to dismiss the idea.
    Accountability and transparency at RMBC? Alien words to the muppets who failed us.

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  3. Cabinet is basically one person making decisions with sometimes abusing the system to stop opposition Councillors calling in and questioning their decisions also RMBC Labour controlled Council also dominate the Scrutiny process so their is no effective scrutiny opposition Councillors are always out voted.
    A Committee system would be made up of more x party participation with the full committee members making the Decision
    So it makes it more accountable and democratic
    I hope the explains it to you in simple and understandable way

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  4. @R Wilde.
    With the cabinet system in local government 6-8+ people can make decisions in secret which excludes other councillors from participating in the decision making process. Committees are much more inclusive whereby all elected councillors can bring different experiences and talents to discussions. It also means councillors have a much better chance of putting into effect the committments they made before being elected.
    The committee system is not perfect but it is more democratic.
    HTH.

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  5. To put it simply, those who are Cabinet Members of the Council have ABSOLUTE POWER and in Rotherham, no one can question them. These are the people the likes of Stone, Smith, Wright and Akhtar etc. It’s funny, we haven’t heard a dickie bird from our Grald for a long time have we? He must be sat at home now, quaking in his boots waiting for that knock on the door. If he isn’t, he should be. It’s time he was arrested for his crimes against Rotherham people!

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  6. It’s going in the right direction what he should have done was to make all councillors down and have an election in may with the general election and stop all Labour councillors standing again past and present but it’s a start we need the S.Y.P investigating now and we need some convictions.

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  7. Caven

    Re the Advertiser.

    When you detailed the history of what you knew / didn’t know about the CSE in your statement why did you omit the details tat you were on the Police Authority (which rejected the offer of outside help) during the period and also Council Watch. You should contact The Tizer and correct the information you provided. Transparency and clarity and all that considered.

    I also don’t buy the ‘UKIP party line’ that all seemed (according to the statements) that no one knew of what was going on before Andrew Norfolk’s article in 2011 or the Jay Report. And in fairness I aim that at all elected officials prior to this date.

    SKT xxxx

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      • skt is in the 3.00 @ sandown, complete with blinkers.
        did you notice that all opposition councillors answered individually???
        labour put a joint statement in as usual. omitting to admit ” in denial”. even Gordon Watson who admitted on live tv he was in denial….

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  8. Quote Anon: “It’s time he (Grald) was arrested for his crimes against Rotherham people!” While some may get arrested for ‘crimes’ (And if they have committed a crime rightly so) I find this statement a little scary. It’s very 1984 (Although would say 1939) – and who decides what is a ‘crime against Rotherham people!’? UKIP. Labour,Conservative, Liberal,Green,Respect, the mob?

    The due process of law may be frustrating and imperfect (as we have all seen – and I have personally experienced) but if if your suggestion ever becomes reality then we should all fear the so called ‘people’s knock on the door’ as my family did elsewhere back in the 30’s; many of whom did not survive to relate the experience.

    Brian,

    The way the former ruling party and the opposition are still maneuvering and denying their respective failings (as detailed by MS Casey) re their lack of action or credibility on the council it is highly probable that the option of elections in 2016, never mind 2015, may be put on the back burner. It is an option still open. One that has not been fully stated as yet but it is still ‘under the table.’

    Yes it is assumed local elections could / will take place in 2016 but is is my ‘understanding’ that if the process of squabbles, denial (in any quarter) and fall back on simple party / personal interest continues to dominate the elections could become a minor consideration. The Government Team (I know) are not fools. They want positive actions and solutions and the elected and unelected officials in Rotherham working together positively – not soundbite, denial and opportunism. They will be (are) watching closely – so very closely already and will not tolerate ‘more of the same’ from any quarter; and rightly so.

    SKT xxxx

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    • Cover up. Please stop wearing your own blinkers and attempting to cover up or we will have to refer to you as ‘Another Form of Cover Up’. I will question all and will not be diverted. The question remains and Caven will answer no doubt.

      It was a serous omission by Caven. He can put this right both via The Tizer AND also on here himself.

      As for the individual responses from UKIP they seemmed very ‘organsied’ to say the least. More a mantra than response. Like with Labour, If they (the councillors) didn’t know before Jay where were they? Definitely not at the races.

      Sktxxxx

      Skt xxxx

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      • It’s quite simple, any councillor who was in office from 1997-2014 , and therefore according to Professor Jay and Lousie Casey, must’ve been fully aware of cse , should not be standing as a councillor in the forthcoming elections. Furthermore, has they have shown themselves to unfit to be a councillor, should not be in any public function , where they are surpposed to represent the public. This would also include the MP ‘s.

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  9. It was not an omission I answered the Questions asked
    And Sally I have answered the questions you ask on this site at least 10 times and also to you on your personal email
    You,Robin and Janet Green are like a stuck record keep on repeating
    Why not ask your Labour mates and the three MP’s instead of accepting a Labour Spoke person
    Nothing alters they just are not allowed to think for them selves

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  10. Hi Caven, I think what what SKT is referring to is that you said you didn’t know before Andrew Norfolk that cse was happening, but I have to say, I thought I’d heard you say that you attended meetings where cse was discussed in your previous stint on the council as a lib dem I think in mid 2000’s. Did I understand that right and if so why did you tell the advertiser you didn’t know til 2012 ?

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  11. Skywalker
    Firstly I said I did not attend that seminar in 2005 and I was never a LIB DEM I was a billy no mates independent Councillor And I did not know the extent until the Andrew Norfolk Artical like most other people

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  12. Quote from Caven.

    “It was not an omission I answered the Questions asked
    And Sally I have answered the questions you ask on this site at least 10 times and also to you on your personal email
    You,Robin and Janet Green are like a stuck record keep on repeating
    Why not ask your Labour mates and the three MP’s instead of accepting a Labour Spoke person
    Nothing alters they just are not allowed to think for them selves2”

    Caven,

    I have not asked the question 10 times re why you did not tell The Advertiser you were on the Police Committee in 2005 and Council Watch; (The committee that turned the offer of an outside lead professional to oversee the issue of on going CSE which was known in Rotherham 2005) I have asked the question I posted Sunday just the once.

    What I asked you before back in Sept 2014 centred around the queries, where you on the Police Committee in 2005, did the committee turn down the offer of help regarding the outside ‘expert’ and was CSE discussed? The answer was yes, yes and thrice yes. That reply was acknowledged ,thanked and was noted and filed away. I also asked why the ‘request’ was turned down? Personally I am still unhappy it was. especially many whistle blowers were hoping and praying that such an independent expert would come to help clean up the scandal at the time.

    Caven, the question I asked on Sunday was a different one altogether and concerned transparency and openness regarding information you detailed in the Tizer. It was –

    “When you detailed the history of what you knew / didn’t know about the CSE in your statement (to the Tizer) why did you omit the details that you were on the Police Authority (which rejected the offer of outside help) during the period and also a member of Council Watch. You should contact The Tizer and correct the information you provided. Transparency and clarity and all that considered.”

    From your reply it obvious the Tizer asked the wrong question or din’t ask enough. However, you have the chance to clarify and inform them of the oversight. So I ask again why did you not tell The Tizer and will you contact them to put the issue right giving the ‘missing information’? Regarding the latter I feel it is necessary in regards to Ms Casey’s call for full transparency regarding events that you do so. I can see no reason for you not to do so.

    Now regarding your silly statement I should ask ‘my Labour mates.’ Firstly as you are fully aware I don’t have any ‘mates in Labour’ (or any political party), secondly as you are fully aware I have nothing to do with Labour or ANY political party, and thirdly as you are fully aware I have asked / will continue asking questions of Labour re CSE as I will others. I am a voter – and like with all voters – elected officials are accountable to us – not us to them.

    I would also like to add that such ridiculous statements such as ‘ask your Labour Mates’ smacks of the political pigeon holing, ingrained tribalism and bickering Ms Casey found abhorrent, a barrier to effective action / solutions re CSE and criticized regarding ALL members in her report. (She damned all sides for this) Indeed such an unfounded and glib reply indicates when it comes to sorting out the tribalism that infests RMBC the Government Team will have a more difficult job on their hands than they have envisaged. Caven, simply viewing everyone as ‘the enemy’ when they ask a question has to stop. And stop now – something Ms Casey said too. I’m sure MS Casey and the Government team will not be impressed. And I know they will be taking note whenever it arises.

    Now regarding your answer to Skywalker re the CSE seminar in 2005. You said you didn’t attend that. I know that bu that wasn’t the question. (Though all councillors at the time got details – whether they read them or not) My question didn’t centre around the seminar – it was centred around what you did /didn’t tell the Tizer and what they needed to know. In view of total transparency I suggest you inform The Tizer of the oversight. It’s quite a simple thing to do and I’m sure they will be only be too pleased to help you clarify the ‘confusion’ and put the issue right for all to understand. .

    Finally,as for ‘thinking for themselves’. I feel with sadness few in the ruling group or opposition do or can. However, as for myself I can think for my self and I don’t need to be involved in party politics to do so. In fact I find that not being tied to ‘a particular party’ in any way helps me think more freely. IE> I can question all and I don’t have to worry about upsetting colleagues or ‘apparent friends’.

    SKT xxxx

    PS: as for being ‘stuck like a record’. I tend to be only when someone refuses to answer a simple question or diverts a question asked. It tends to make me ‘why are they dong so?’ So if you want me to simply ‘move on to the next track’ all you have to do is simply answer and rectify the issue with the information you gave to The Tizer.

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  13. Sally
    I have gone to print on more than one occasion on the question you ask please search back copies and you will find them
    And what Council watch has to do with anything I fail to see it disbanded in 2003 and we was interested mainly in the finances and Jobs for the boys also if you know so much of what we did you would have noted that the Then Leader Mark Edgell tried to Sue me for openly challenging them
    So why did your known Whistle blowers come to us and spill the beans then

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  14. RE Caven’s Question:

    Quote: “So why did your known Whistle blowers come to us and spill the beans then
    Reply” OR “Should Whistle blowers did not come and spill the beans then.”

    I assume you mean UKIP Caven. Correct me if I am wrong with his assumption. However, using this as a base here are the reasons. You may not like the answer but you did ask.

    The reason they (and I) didn’t come to you personally after the shambles of the Police Authority in 2005 was you (along with all on that said authority) were seen as a central part of the problem and a huge barrier to taking the issues forward. When the Police Authority (on which you sat as an Independent – not UKIP) strangely and shamefully turned down the offer of an independent and impartial expert to assist with CSE it sent out a message to all concerned that ALL in power or elected office – as well as unelected management (of various degrees) were simply interested in brushing the whole issue of CSE, malpractice and officially directed manipulation under the carpet. In short you became viewed as part of the establishment we were fighting – nothing more nothing less. You may think that is wrong but we judged all by actions – not words – only.

    Caven, I can’t underline the damaging effect the (wrong in my opinion) decision of the Police Authority had on staff and those that were giving all (even sacrificing carers) to achieve transparency and fairness. Devistating does not describe it. A feeling of betrayal is a more apt description. That decision was a major setback- one I feel was pivotal in allowing the cover up to take hold and tighten at very high levels . As a result of that decision we then continued simply going down the official and legal routes that lasted up to and including the Casey Report and is still on going. In short Caven, whatever the reason The Police Authority had for dismissing so glibly the offer of outside help the result was the view was formed anyone on that committee had to be viewed in the same manner as all in office at the time;with great suspicion. It was a matter of trust lost through a shameful decision.

    As for not using UKIP as a party – (or any party) like with Ms Casey’s Inquiry – the view was UKIP (like Labour) were ineffective, self interested, tribal, simply interested in sounbite, unfocused and did little or nothing in reality to address the issue of CSE other than issue insults, shoutrage and soundbite. Indeed Ms Casey’s findings in the report re the ruling group and opposition’s tribal and operational failures sums up the viewpoint of myself and others that the behavior of the ineffective UKIP members, like with the shameful Labour Group, was nothing more than political posturing devoid of real intent, action and effective solutions. In short Caven we didn’t trust UKIP (or Labour or the management /HR at RMBC) to have the skills, intent or openness to offer the support needed. We had no confidence in any one. A fact Ms Casey concurred with.

    As a result I and others carried on seeking answers and justice via the legal and official avenues we had instigated – we also got support from RIK, others on Rothpol, Unison and the media and several individuals and groups that can’t be thanked enough, This plan of action proved more effective and bore eventual fruit and will more in the future. (It;s not over yet) Indeed communications from the Inquiry team have stressed that this approach was not only praiseworthy but the right one – especially considering the total mess in local all local politics all round they damned. In short Caven it allowed the evidence we gave to be more devastating, targeted and damning.

    In regards to Ms Collins the view was (and is) she could not be trusted to be an effective supporter. She was and still is seen as an hindrance who’s outburst are little more than posturing and counter productive. For example her knee jerk reaction to instinctively opposing a national approach in conjunction with a local one was viewed with great alarm.

    As for future actions Caven. I will carry on – as will others – but although a big believer in the ballot box I am glad the Government Team will be here until 2019 – maybe longer. It’s going to take a long time to sort out the mess in RMBC and restore my trust in regards to any elected officer at RMBC and I feel without them the mess would simply carry on.

    SKT xxxx

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