Ged Fitzgerald was at Rotherham until 2003, after which Mike Cuff took over and he started to review the strategic and operational management of the Council’s finances.
Andrew Bedford (Acting Director of Education Culture and Leisure) was seconded to work with Mike Cuff for a 12 month period after which he assumed the role of Section 151 Officer.
Andrew Bedford left the Council in 2012, after unspecified allegations were made about his behavior in the workforce, the Council refused to give a reason but did confirm that his departure was not linked to “issues of financial probity”
Yorkshire Post reported “Exclusive: Mystery as to Rotherham finance chief quits”.
Could it be that Andrew Bedford had exposed the massive overspend in RMBC due to caring for children?
Can it be speculated that RMBC simply never had the money allocated as required to properly investigate and appropriately deal with CSE issues in Rotherham?
The pressure to cover up and minimize the CSE in Rotherham would have been immense.This would also have put intense psychological stress on the Section 151 Officer (Andrew Bedford),whose workplace behaviour could have been affected.
Could an explanation be that RMBC put its financial liabilities above that of the safety and welfare of the abused children and in turn this would expose senior politicians to severe reputational damage?
It very much appears as through the proper recruiting procedure was not adopted for the position Andrew Bedford took up, ie Section 151 Officer, presumably because no new blood was wanted to upset the apple cart.
Andrew Bedford deserves to be given the opportunity to give his side of the story.