Telford’s MP, Lucy Allan has today called on Telford & Wrekin Council to appoint an independent chair to the inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Telford, without delay.
This comes after the announcement that Telford & Wrekin Council have outlined proposals for a group of councillors to determine the direction of the inquiry, overseen by Cabinet Member, Councillor Lee Carter.
Responding to the news, Lucy Allan said:
“The direction of any inquiry would be expected to be determined by the independent chair. It would not be an independent inquiry if councillors including Cabinet Members were to determine the direction of any inquiry.
“The Council now needs to follow the Rotherham style model to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy or delay. The Rotherham inquiry was quick and nimble, led by a single independent chair. The Council needs to appoint a chair, so the chair can begin this important work. It is not the job of Telford & Wrekin Council to determine the direction of the inquiry, that is the job of the independent chair.
“CSE is a live issue in our community today and it is affecting the lives of victims and their families. It would not be appropriate for the Council to attempt to dictate the remit of the inquiry nor to fetter the discretion of the chair. I am very surprised that the Council is seeking to determine the direction of the inquiry, led by a Cabinet Member. It was agreed the inquiry would be independent of the Council, for good reason.
“In other towns where CSE has been prevalent, we have seen that it was the culture of the Council that led to inaction and silence over many years. An independent inquiry would naturally want to consider the culture of the Council.”