Voices of Despair silenced, the voice of hope thereby muted.

We want the Council and Police to get a grip on Child Sexual Exploitation(CSE) and care for victims.
We are all ashamed of the towns national and international reputation as CSE capital.
We want the council and police and thereby the town to “do well.”
We want our families to feel safe.

Yet still the officer and Political leadership of the town appears chaotic and inept, with many of them still in denial of their child protection failings.

The latest example can be found on a good front page in this week’s Advertiser. It reveals the scandal of the Council withdrawing support and refusing to circulate copies of a 40 pager booklet about CSE; Voices of Despair – Voices of Hope.

That having bought and paid for 1500 copies it is now not using them.

The official reason, given in response to a Freedom of Information Act request is that they, the council’s Children’s Services took advice from an unnamed expert who advised that the publication was too negative…to much despair and not enough hope.

However a bit of googling reveals that the Council did much, much more than simply offer to buy a few booklets.

If you want a hollow and somewhat sad laugh read the Advertiser front page and then listen to a feature on Asian Radio Radio Live, by Mushtaq Tufail

http://goo.gl/FP8KWt

It reveals Cllr Emma Hoddinott extolling the virtues of this booklet, and their supporting it’s publications shows they are learning from the past and reflects a commitment to supporting CSE victims.

Her officers have made her look a fool!

The recording also shows that a party of 20 people, with the Councils blessing, went down to Parliament and presented it to politicians of the main parties. There is even photographs of some of the party in parliament and outside No10 Downing Street.

In terms of support, the Council appears to have held a leaving ceremony for the 20 at Riverside House. In other words, they were actively seeking reflected glory from the efforts of the victims and the volunteer editors of the booklet.

Now they have stabbed the editors and contributors in the back, disrespecting their contribution
…….and here is my fear…though I hope someone can prove it wrong..

That testimony by forty victims was likely to mention the ethnicity of the perpetrators, that yet again he truth may suffered in the cause of political correctness.

Despite Louise Casey recently pointing out how cover up and failure to tell the truth about the role of Kashmiri men in grooming and other crimes actually acted to increase tensions between communities.

A copy of the booklet would be appreciated

Mary B Josephs

Related post:

The Rotherham Truth Campaign issues challenge to Rotherham councillors

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38 Responses to Voices of Despair silenced, the voice of hope thereby muted.

  1. Anonymous says:

    To Mary

    Presumably The FOI gave the purchase costs of the booklet and the commissioning fee to the writer(s)?

    Notice it was written by the ex Catholic Secondary HT from Kirklees who was suspended and soon found himself ‘cosying’ up to RMBC contacts and no doubt adding to his pension.

    Didn’t Newsom, Rotherham Children’s Commissioner also work in Kirklees…..?

    In addition, this same ex HT wrote the report recommending a ‘Panel’ to oversee Protests in Rotherham. When in fact this is the role of South Yorkshire Police.

    Targeted self promotion is key to earning an income of choice. Errrrumm

    • R. Wilde says:

      Liam Harron was merely the co editor of the book, it was written by the victims/ survivors themselves.

      • Robin Symonds says:

        Co-editor with Chrissy Meleady. I have a copy somewhere. I think the recommended price was £3. Will check.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve Googled Newsam and can find no links to Kirklees. Anyone else help with this one? This guy is spurious at best. No wonder new brass at town hall aren’t going near. I don’t think they are stupid. There appears more to this story than meets the eye.

  2. Anonymous says:

    1) who is Liam Harron. A disgraced Headteacher by all accounts. 2) what expertise does he have in CSE? 3) which survivors of this terrible abuse is he representing? 4) where does he feature in the history of the Rotherham scandal? Does Jayne Senior know of him for example? I suggest we all do a little due diligence which it would appear, sadly, our good old ’tiser’ has not done.

  3. A regular reader says:

    Mary, surely the best thing would be to produce the book as an e-book / pdf and circulate it/ make it available on-line.

  4. yup says:

    One of the core issues here is the local political administration controlling the flow of information in keeping with a narrative that projects whatever the politicians want the public to perceive. It is the same on this side of the asphalt divide. All that appears to matter is votes, to retain power, and everything else is unimportant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not heard so much claptrap. 6 criminals are doing over 100 years in prison because the council and police gave victims a voice. That’s real, unquestionable progress and we all want to see many more go down. I have been working in the voluntary sector for many a year supporting survivors in Rotherham and have NEVER come across this guy. He used to teach in Dinnington many years ago apparently, until he was sacked as per above post by anonymous. The full details of the disciplinary hearing are also available online where you can read about his inappropriate conduct with a vulnerable teenage girl! You couldn’t write it. Unless of course your the Tiser. And don’t just take what I say either. Ask your own voluntary sector friends, family and colleagues who will affirm. A sad story by the Tiser who as well as missing the boat allowing Andrew Norfolk to expose these crimes have now completely missed the point!!!!

  5. fiferalfa says:

    Yet again this council shows just how unfit for purpose by their use of the victims to try and show they are improving, how can that be the case when we still have councillors who deny anything ever happened and always toe the party line wether or not it is for the benefit of the community
    While on the subject of the COUNCIL it would be better if the mayoress conducted meetings following the standing orders and especially apply the code of conduct rigidly we members of the public have to follow this code surely it is not to much to ask councillors to do the same

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you haven’t even read this thread.

      • Mary B Josephs says:

        Anonymous….I wonder if you have listened to the radio piece, and while you may have read my piece I fear you have missed the point….accidentally or deliberately.

        That being the Council’s competence in latterly refusing to circulate a document they have not simply paid for but helped launch. Along with suspicion that their failure to name the “expert” sounds worthy of examination..if not distrust in terms of the real reason for junking it.

        Your referencing one of the co-ordinators and his credibility by citing a disciplinary procedure against him is a red herring…whether deliberate or not on your part.

        For example, while I don’t personally think that the binning was anything to do with the Council withdrawing support for the booklet, I am to happy consider the thesis that it was…

        In this scenario, however the Council’s incompetence appears even greater because;

        The article you reference as to suspension and ongoing investigation into the guy is dated 11th JUL 2013.

        The Council’s event at Riverside to support the booklet, and wish the Parliamentary delegation Bon voyage was on the 25th March 2015…suggesting the council knew, or should have known his circumstances.

        Either this was dreadful incompetence by the council officers…or there is another reason for it being binned.

        Can anyone name the expert, and/or send Rick a copy of the booklet.

      • fiferalfa says:

        It seems you consider the council so much improved it was only correct that trials started, seeing they are so much better where are the answers to the missing laptops why is it taking so long to bring any of the police to account. This council is still far from being improved so much that the commissioners are not needed if over the decades they had not been so arrogant and dismissive of their electorate maybe just maybe we could start to believe what they say

      • Anonymous says:

        Mary put your faith in this booklet being the salvation for the town’s woes if you like and further, Mr Harron the new CSE expert and police protest panel expert too apparently. There’s nothing stopping you dropping it through letterboxes of all our voluntary agencies and community bases. I’m not putting such faith in it for the reasons cited. The disciplinary issue including inappropriate conduct where a vulnerable young girl is concerned is far from a red herring but you have it your way. I’ve no clue if this had any bearing on the story but what I do know is it makes me as a voluntary worker feel very uncomfortable and it will others for sure. Especially given Mr Harron has no known credibility with Rotherham survivors or their families. NOONE I have spoken to at grass roots level know who he is representing. Funny how he didn’t feature as a speaker in the conference organised by Jayne Senior in Leeds and he doesn’t feature in the Jay report or Casey report as an advocate from the past or present. I can only imagine what the response would be if this (disciplinary) or similar was revealed about one of the commissioners!! Whatever they (the council) did in the past they aren’t using the document for training now, which is their prerogative I would assert. I’ve no idea about the expert opinion but again, it matters not. Also, this in the grand scheme isn’t even a story. The booklet won’t stop perpetrators of this evil crime or encourage victims to come forward to disclose. What will are convictions and long sentences which is what we are seeing. So RMBC and SYP more of the same please as far as I’m concerned. Given what I have said here I will comment no more about this. The readers can make their own mind up about whether this man with a dodgy past and his pamphlet is worthy of news.

  6. A regular reader says:

    There is what appears to be a link to the publisher of the booklet here:
    http://oldwebsite.hallam-diocese.com/safeguarding-what-is-it/events-and-news/745-voices-of-despair-voices-of-hope
    It leads to this e-mail address : voicesofhope@baaprint.co.uk
    (if that bounces try: info@baaprint.co.uk – that one occurs on other sites.
    (e.g. http://www.friendsofmatthewrusike.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-Flyer.pdf ).

    all this suggests that this company is the publisher:
    http://sheffield.cylex-uk.co.uk/company/b-a-a-print—design-19872763.html
    I haven’t found a website for the company.
    _________
    another view of one of the authors:
    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2005/sep/20/teaching.schools

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks RR. The guardian article is of particular note however the public disciplinary hearing came years later didn’t it?

    • A regular reader says:

      Mary B Josephs
      The more I look at this, the less credibility I feel that it deserves.
      I just can’t see why and who it was written for.
      Sorry.
      But I can truely see why and who this is being written for :
      http://www.jaglallart.com/1400/4588940773

      • rothpol says:

        Tell me have you read the Advertiser front page story this post refers to, and the failures of RMBC to carry out their commitments, after the publicity has moved on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes read it Rik. Have you? It is clear there was one intention, which was reviewed. Training/ training materials always are or should be, for effectiveness. This isn’t unusual. It states that the council people have more appropriate material to raise the issue such as through Barnardo’s. The irony of the story of the inside page featuring another captured sex pervert, the real work, is sheer quality.

        • rothpol says:

          As you comment further, you sound more and more like an apologist for the Council Officers and local Labour? Would there be an explanation for that?

  7. The other 50% says:

    Time for RR to give us the benefit of his wisdom, in a post on any relevant subject. He is good at dishing out the criticism of minutiae and undermining the thrust of the argument. Time RR to give us that privilege, I am sure it would be published!

    • Anonymous says:

      No Rik. Wrong tree. You can endorse the booklet and Mr Harron all you like. If he’s the answer (and the publication) is the answer I will bow to your knowledge and wisdom.

      • rothpol says:

        I am not defending the publication or it’s authors, but I am referring to the underhand and duplicitous actions, or rather inaction’s, of RMBC. That is what the Advertiser and the author of this post, Mary B Josephs, were referring to. The credibility of the editor has been brought into play however none of this had anything to do with the decision to let the publication gather dust.

      • R. Wilde says:

        “I am not defending the publication or it’s authors”

        I bloody well will, because it was written by victims/ survivors, not Liam Harron. Harron was simply co editor of the book.

        Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, they are the accounts of the girls themselves, it’s THEIR story not Harrons, and it’s a story that deserves to be heard. But it never will be, because it doesn’t fit the RMBC plan. Why is that so difficult for some people to compute? Or do those people have a problem with the vicitims/ survivors telling the world what RMBC and SYP allowed to happen to them?

        In my opinion it should be compulsory reading for every RMBC Councillor, official and employee, every SYP officer, Chief Constable, Distric Commander and the bloody PCC himself, in order for them to fully understand just what THEY allowed to happen. I hope they do read it and I hope it makes them weep.

    • A regular reader says:

      Rothpol asks me :
      “Tell me have you read the Advertiser front page story this post refers to, and the failures of RMBC to carry out their commitments, after the publicity has moved on.”
      Yes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair play. However if they have decided not to use it, for whatever reason, so what? It’s nothing in the grand scheme. It’s not ‘RMBC failed to support victims in recent trial’ territory us it? Now that, after everything would be a REAL story!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The book provides the platform for victims of CSE to put their experiences into the public domain and IMO that should be welcomed.

    RMBC must be totally transparent over their reasons for their reluctance to distribute the book, who was involved in the decision, who is the expert who provided RMBC with the advice?

    I would recommend submitting an FOI to RMBC on the matter, the process can be very cathartic.

    RMBC did not waste a minute in cynically milking the PR spotlight at the launch of the book.

    Some commentators on this blog have taken a subjective view of the issues surrounding the professional conduct of Mr Harron, I wonder how many readers of this blog have been subject to a formal disciplinary interview or hearing during the course of their employment?

    The details relating to the issues with Mr Harron are available for all to read as he was a registrant with a professional body unlike many readers of this blog whose employment history will stay well hidden from the court of public opinion.

    Its worth remembering that Risky Business was viewed as a problem within RMBC and subsequently closed down.

  9. R. Wilde says:

    Question. When the Advertiser puts a story on the front page, do they normally also publish it on their website? Because this story appears to be absent for some reason.

    I have no idea why they wouldn’t want to bring it to a wider audience. Thoughts, anyone?

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