Rotherham: How a council not fit for purpose is clawing its way back

Rotherham’s head of children’s services said he knew major progress had been made following the child exploitation scandal when a victim declared she was “finally proud” to come from the South Yorkshire town.

Ian Thomas, who stepped in to deal with the “toxic” mess in the wake of the scandal in 2014, described how he wiped away tears when Emma Jackson, who who was abused by a sex ring in Rotherham in the early 2000s, spoke of her regained confidence in the local authorities.

Read more at:

Wounds of scandal-hit Rotherham finally healing, says council leader

Rotherham is starting to heal in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal despite far-right extremists’ continuing attempts to stir up racial divisions, according to the South Yorkshire town’s council leader.

Councillor Chris Read spoke days after six members of the latest grooming ring to operate in Rotherham were jailed for a total of more than 80 years for sexually abusing two young girls between 1999 and 2001.

Read on…


10 thoughts on “Rotherham: How a council not fit for purpose is clawing its way back

  1. There has been a lot of hype recently in the national press about the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. Interestingly, the publicity about ‘fake news’ only became a campaign lead by the national institutions and supported by the media AFTER people realised and published that the purveyors of the ‘fake news’ were the institutions themselves. Of course the expected reply followed – those that were exposing the fake news created by the institutions were then accused, by those same institutions, of creating ‘fake news’ ! The local authorities, obsessed with managing public perception and controlling how information ( including ‘fake’ ) is accessed, is no exception to the national trend. It is therefore with some reticence that the claims of RMBC improving can be taken seriously, especially in the absence of evidence of any change in culture, or that culpable council officers and possibly elected members are still to be held to account, or that the child victims of decades of sexual exploitation have yet to receive redress. The secrecy and obfuscation persists, and no reasonable citizen could be criticised for concluding that there was, and remains, a cover-up. There is a credibility gap between the reality and rhetoric that is impossible to bridge whilst ever no independently produced proof of progress is seen. Until that time, any claims of RMBC ‘clawing its way back’ within RMBC can be disregarded in their entirely.


  2. Couldn’t agree more…..quite apart from the relatively complex issues such as CSE or town centre redevelopment, RMBC is blatently unable to manage even the simple issues such as clearing the street litter


  3. Thomas courts the media profusely.
    It is a an obvious and deliberate displacement technique and peppered with melodrama.
    He ought to pursue a career on the stage ASAP.


  4. Chris Read’s comments have no validity at all.
    The councillors labelled ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ are still there and some of them were appointed to Cabinet posts and a number of councillors denied the Jay report.
    Where is the evidence of the ‘Fresh Start we were promised? If there has been any turn round in Rotherham it is because of oversight of the council by the Commissioners not because Read is a charismatic leader.


  5. if closing down Care homes for children, can be construed as improvement , then there’ll grasp at anything. I suspected that Thomas, was more of a self publicists, than someone that actually achieved things and commented so at the time. His frequency and predictable comments, after each trial, of things are getting better, only confirmed my suspicions.

    We all know things will take time, but it seems to me, that what Thomas and Co are really doing is containing things, hence no commitment to seek the 1400+. Then with supposedly fewer cases, it’s easy to claim, there getting on top of things.

    I don’t see no campaign of education of young girls of dangers of the Pakistani (Muslim) threat, or confrontation of this same communtiy about it obvious problems and engagement with new leaders. Perhaps I saw too much into the exchange and put down of Muhbeen, by Read. Fresh shoots of realignment, I think not.


  6. They are just proving Casey right when she said that the councillors were obsessed with image and have spent thousands of pounds trying to show themselves in a good light. She also said that they were good at writing reports but no good at taking them forward. Nothing has changed.
    Dave Smith


  7. You would expect Chris read to make statements to the press, he is the Leader of the Council. But why is an employee, Mr Thomas always in front of the camera.?. Have you noticed, there is a massive absence by the very RMBC Councillor who`s portfolio actually includes Childrens`s services. Mr Thomas should not be making statements, he is an non elected official. But there again its the same tactic from Labour as before, we have no one of any quality to speak for us, or of any one who has an idea of what they are talking about, so lets hide behind the employees.


  8. According to hubby Sir Derek Myers has made a video for employees – at the end he says he is leaving and leaving the other three commissioners to continue their work


  9. Pingback: The Week That Was – Last Weeks Top Ten 18th February 2017 | Rotherham Politics

  10. I would hope that Rotherham would aim a lot higher than the opinion of ‘good’ from someone whose life has been indescribably bad. What that person understands as a reason to be proud after all she has gone through has to be respected, but it is definitely not the bar on which to set the standard. That has to be much, much higher to meet the needs of those of us lucky enough not to have had to suffer so badly!!


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