Putting local children first

Oldham & Saddleworth’s Liberal Democrat councillors have said that the report into historic safeguarding and CSE in the borough is a challenge to put children at the heart of everything the Council does and so have submitted a motion for the next Council Meeting on 13th July.

Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grotton, Springhead & Lees, said: “The implications of Newsam & Ridgway’s report will take a long while to unpick – we have 50 outstanding questions alone – but there’s two things we can do straight away to make a change. Our motion for the next Council meeting asks that all future Council decisions made either by officers or councillors be explicitly weighed against the potential risk to children and on the level of Council spending locally.”

Mark continued: “Whenever the Council makes a decision, it’s weighed against a range of criteria including things like how much it costs, whether more people are needed to implement the decision, if Council needs any new IT to make the decision work, are whether there are any legal risks – I’m asking for two new considerations; is there a risk to children of the borough and are we spending more or less money into the borough.”

He concluded: “Kids who are at risk of CSE are often vulnerable, and one of the key vulnerabilities is poverty. Whilst on the face of it not directly related to child safety, increasing the wealth that stays in the borough will reduce poverty and reduce kids’ vulnerability to CSE. A lot of the time politics seems to be pantomime and has little affect with people’s every day lives – I’m hoping that colleagues from all parties can put that aside and come together for a simple change that will benefit all who live and work in Oldham.”

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