Sykes seeks special Council to discuss action on child sex exploitation report

The Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrats has written to the Leader of the Council to seek her assurance that a special council meeting will be held in the autumn to discuss the much-awaited report on historic child sexual exploitation in Oldham.

In his letter to the Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE asks for sufficient time to be made available to discuss the report at the scheduled November or December meeting of the Full Council, or, as he would prefer, that ‘a special one agenda item meeting of the Full Council [be convened] as soon as is practicable after publication to enable discussion to take place.’

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has stated that his intention is to publish the CSE report ‘by November or, at the very latest, by the end of the year.’ The report will be the culmination of a two-year investigation into allegations of child sexual exploitation in Oldham.

In November 2019, Oldham Council and the Oldham Safeguarding Partnership commissioned the independent review from the Mayor of Greater Manchester. Two experienced investigators, Malcolm Newsam MBE, a childcare expert, and Gary Ridgeway, formerly a senior police officer specialising in public protection, have previously concluded similar investigations at Rotherham and Manchester.

Commenting Councillor Sykes said: “At my request, the Leader updated members at the July Council on the progress made by the investigation team. Given the significant public and elected member interest in the findings of this report, I now hope that the Leader will agree to my request to make proper time available at a scheduled Council meeting or, as I would prefer, convene a special one-agenda item meeting to discuss this report once it is published. In my view, this issue is simply too important to do anything else.”

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