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Rotherham continues to fail vulnerable children

Rotherham Council is continuing to fail to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm, nearly six months after the scale of child sexual exploitation in the town emerged according to Louise Casey who was asked to conduct an investigation into Rotherham.

She concluded that the authority is “not fit for purpose” and is “in denial” about serious and ongoing safeguarding failures. “It is failing in its legal obligation to secure continuous improvement in the way in which it exercises its functions. In particular, it is failing in its duties to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm.”

In response, the council said its entire cabinet would resign over the report's findings.

A statement said: "As the political leadership of the council we must take responsibility. We therefore announce our intention to resign our positions as soon as transitional arrangements can be put in place."

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he will send in five commissioners to take over the executive functions of Rotherham Council's cabinet in children and young persons services and taxi licensing functions. He said he will also move an order under the Local Government Act to force Rotherham Council into holding a full election in 2016.

Casey's report criticises not only past failures but also “present failures” to “accept, understand and combat" the issue of CSE. It says this has resulted in a “lack of support for victims and insufficient action against known perpetrators”. And that “The council’s culture is unhealthy: bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced ‘political correctness’ have cemented its failures,”