Public asked for comments on scope of child sexual exploitation review
Telford & Wrekin Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee is undertaking a review of how agencies in the borough have responded and are responding to child sexual exploitation.
Members of the public and organisations are being asked to comment on the proposed scope of the review to ensure that there is public confidence that the process is tackling the right issues.
Scrutiny committee members are aware that organisations in Telford and Wrekin have identified and responded to the issue – which resulted in a number of successful prosecutions as a result of Operation Chalice.
The committee is also mindful of the lessons to be learned from this local success and the broader national context in order to assure local people that organisations are continuing to work together to prevent child sexual exploitation, support victims and their families and to prosecute offenders.
The decision has therefore been taken to publish the Terms of Reference (www.telford.gov.uk/scrutinyreviewofcse) for the review to give the public a chance to comment on them. This process will happen before initial meetings which will determine the shape and ultimate scope of the review.
Key questions include:
- Are there any issues that the review should consider that are not included in the terms of reference? If so, what are they?
- Are there any other organisations or individuals that should be involved in the review? If so, who do you think should be involved?
- Would you like to receive notification when the committee’s report is published?
Councillor Kevin Guy, chairman of the council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, said: “We recognise that this is a very big piece of work on an extremely serious issue and we are committed to doing a thorough job and producing a constructive and detailed response.
“It feels like both the right time for scrutiny to be involved in examining the work that the council and its partners have done in tackling child sexual exploitation and also the right thing for us to be doing.
“Without pre-empting anything that the review might discover, the court cases as a result of Operation Chalice demonstrate that much positive work was carried out and the cases ultimately resulted in seven men being jailed for a total of 49 years.
“However, everyone at the council is keen for the work that was done that resulted in those cases, the lessons learned as a result and the work that has been done since to be as transparent as possible and for the public to have confidence in how this issue is handled.”
The deadline for any comments on the terms of reference for the review is 6 February 2015. It is expected that work on the review will take approximately a year to complete.
Members of the public can respond to these questions via the online form (https://webforms.telford.gov.uk/form/146) or by writing to Scrutiny Team, Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT.