Out with the old – what about the new

Out with the old – what about the new

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
At this week’s [27/06/22] meeting of full Council, GM Mayor Andy Burnham said that former Chief Constable Ian Hopkins was replaced because of a lack of progress in providing information to the CSE inquiry in Oldham.  This contradicts the statements put out at the time that he had resigned because of the police being put into special measures.  It also fails to address the subsequent 11-month gap between his resignation and ANY information being provided to the CSE inquiry, and fails to explain why information was only provided on one of the 11 cases under review – with that one showing serious failures on the part of GMP. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “This is an absolute failure. “GMP has been warned about failing victims of domestic abuse repeatedly…
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Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
Oldham Liberal Democrats have said that due care must be taken with responses to the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oldham, to be released on Monday, and it “must be viewed in the knowledge of the terrible and lasting impact CSE has had on the lives of many of this borough’s most vulnerable young people”.  The report is being released with a background of serial failings of the senior management of Greater Manchester Police, including the botched introduction and inadequacies of the now-abandoned iOPS computer system, and the force being placed into special measures. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “People must know that Oldham Council, the police, and the services that they rely on have changed, and will continue to change, so that others will not have…
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Final national reports into child sex abuse released in time to be included in Oldham joint workshop

Final national reports into child sex abuse released in time to be included in Oldham joint workshop

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
The final two reports of the Home Office-sponsored Independent Investigation into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) are due to be released on February 1 (Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks) and March 1 (Residential Schools).  Following conversations between Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, senior Council management, and the Managing Director of Children & Young People, it has been agreed that following the publication of the report into CSE in Oldham at the end of this month, the Oldham Children’s Safeguarding Partnership will undertake a joint workshop with the Adult Safeguarding Partnership, which will include learning from IICSA, and inform the development of Oldham’s Complex Safeguarding Strategy. Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “The Council must be ready to accept the outcome of the report into CSE in Oldham. This is just one of the ways…
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Further delays to CSE report ‘a breakdown of trust’

Further delays to CSE report ‘a breakdown of trust’

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
The news that the independent report into child sex exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has been delayed until the new year is “further undermining the trust that needs to be rebuilt” according to Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani. GM Mayor Andy Burnham has announced that the report will now be released in the week commencing January 24, citing both delays with Queen’s Counsel Advice, and the wishes of victims of CSE not to release the report in the run up to Christmas. Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “The most important people in the whole process are the survivors of violence, and I absolutely respect their wishes not to see the report published at this time of year. “What I then question is why we had been told previously that the report would…
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Sykes seeks special Council to discuss action on child sex exploitation report

Borough news
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…
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Liberal Democrats hold Council to promise on findings from national CSE inquiry

Liberal Democrats hold Council to promise on findings from national CSE inquiry

Borough news
Oldham Council’s Safeguarding Partnership is working to introduce recommendations from the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), following further work from the Liberal Democrat group on the Council. Having already received a promise from the Council that it would apply any relevant local recommendations into their work, Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani went through the last two IICSA reports in detail to identify those that applied, and demanded a detailed response from the Council on how they were being implemented. Those recommendations have now been taken to Oldham’s Safeguarding Partnership by the Managing Director of the Children & Young People team, who will then be reporting back on what specific actions are being taken. Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “We worked hard to ensure that the Council made that commitment, but we…
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Community approach can benefit survivors in Oldham

Community approach can benefit survivors in Oldham

Borough news
After the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) produced its latest report, local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has called on the Council to put its recommendations – and lessons from around the country – into practice in Oldham. One example is the Quetzal Project in Leicester, which provides free counselling for women recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. They have been running an outreach project to allow women in isolated communities to access counselling, particularly from South Asian backgrounds. Sam said: “What the Quetzal Project has done really well is reach out to people and communities, not wait for people to come to them. They found the right people in the community, that survivors would trust, and gave them the help they needed to ensure that…
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Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader welcomes promise of Council debate on CSE review

Borough news
The Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has welcomed the commitment made by the Leader of Oldham Council to make ‘proper time (available) for consideration by councillors’ of the long-awaited report by the review team into historic child sexual exploitation issues at a meeting of the Full Council. Last month, Councillor Sykes wrote to the new Leader, Councillor Arooj Shah, to request that Councillors be able ‘to discuss this matter in Full Council at the earliest opportunity’. As the Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, Baroness Beverley Hughes, had previously said the report would be available by the middle of this year, councillor Sykes was hopeful that this would be at the July 14 Council meeting. In her reply, Councillor Shah could not confirm that…
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Liberal Democrats request debate on Child Sexual Exploitation review at July Council

Borough news
The Liberal Democrats want to see the promised report from the review on historic allegations of child sexual exploitation to be published in advance of the 14 July meeting of the Full Council and for time to be set aside to debate the report at the meeting. The Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has sent his request to the Leader of Oldham Council and the Chief Executive on 25 May and yet has had no response or acknowledgement. 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, are now working to finalise…
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Council staff can be ‘eyes and ears’ in ongoing fight against child sex abuse

Borough news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Councillors want Oldham Council staff to be trained to become ‘eyes and ears’ in the community to help detect instances of child sexual exploitation. Oldham Council has recently asked all Councillors to complete a mandatory training module into combatting child sexual exploitation. This is being delivered by experts in this field from the renowned Barnardo’s Charity. Councillor Sykes would like to see similar training made available to Council staff who regularly meet the public in person or speak to residents over the telephone, such as street cleaners, refuse collectors or call centre operatives. He said: “Although social workers and child care workers would routinely receive such training and would be aware of what signs to look out for, it would be very valuable to have other council…
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