Next steps towards child sexual abuse inquiry
Following tonight’s meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council, a report outlining the next steps to hold an inquiry into historic and current instances of child sexual exploitation in the town will be published early next week.
That report will go to the council’s Cabinet on Thursday 19 April.
The motion to tonight’s full council was unanimously supported by all political groups.
It read: “This meeting requests that the Cabinet of Telford & Wrekin Council approve the commissioning and implementation of a non-statutory independent inquiry into all aspects of historical and current instances of child sexual exploitation within the borough.
“This meeting also requests the Cabinet to instruct council officers to commission such an inquiry immediately.
“This meeting also notes that such a non-statutory inquiry will allow the opportunity for victims and survivors to give evidence in private and free from any other pressures or interference. Such arrangements will hopefully also encourage other victims to come forward.”
Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member Lee Carter said: “The report to cabinet next week will set out what needs to be done to set a council inquiry up.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that we have something in place that gets the answers to the questions people have been asking.
“We have already been working on putting this in place for some time now. This has included lobbying the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which has resulted in the Truth Project will coming to Telford to hear from victims and survivors next month.
“We have also continued to lobby Government and the Home Office has told us that the Secretary of State for Education has asked a new national child safeguarding practice review panel looking at serious child safeguarding cases of complex or national importance to look at Telford among other places where this vile crime has happened.
“We have secured support from the NWG Network, which supports professionals whose work includes tackling child sexual exploitation.
“Also our cabinet at the end of March allocated further resources to tackle child sexual exploitation and meet initial costs of any inquiry.
“There is a clear demand for this to happen as soon as possible and so I am pleased that next week we can decide how the inquiry will be set up.”