Following the last meeting of Oldham Council (11 Nov), the Liberal Democrats have received confirmation that the Council will be taking the recommendations of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and applying them to Oldham Council and its Safeguarding.
The Council will also ensure that the findings of the independent investigation into allegations of historical CSE in Oldham are shared to IICSA.
Oldham Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “I really welcome this response from the Council. Challenging this abuse relies on the Council being open to improving its practices. Being ready to listen to the outcome of the IICSA investigation and ready to implement its findings is one demonstration of that.
“Every council has a duty of care both to young people and to the wider community. Trust is easy to lose, and difficult to recover. Oldham Council needs to demonstrate an ongoing commitment into improving the way that it works – it’s about delivering change, not talking about it. I’m delighted to hear that this is being taken forward.”
As well as the commitment on the IICSA recommendations, the Council rolled out a Safer Recruitment Policy in October, and is in the process of developing its Safeguarding Communications Policy, which will cover the next 12 months.
Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “We have been in regular contact with the Council’s chief executive and senior team since the independent investigation was announced. It is our job to challenge the Council on the work that it is doing – and anything it is not – and hold them to account.
“It is right that the Council takes an active approach to improving its policies and communications. There will continue to be changes before the independent investigation reports, and I am sure that the investigation will identify a number of areas where more change is required.
“There can never be any complacency about this. It is frightening that 96% of abusers are known to their victims – it is so frequently also a crime of deceit, and it takes incredible vigilance to combat that. It is hard, difficult work, and nothing will stop us striving to improve things.”