Published: Friday, 13th September 2019

Cllr Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said:

“We have become aware of allegations on social media linked to safeguarding issues. The comments have been combined with a series of personal attacks on councillors and the local MP.

“We have no bigger duty or responsibility than the safety and protection our citizens, particularly children and vulnerable adults who are not in a position to protect themselves. It is a responsibility that we take incredibly seriously.

“We work in partnership with the police, health services, schools and many other partners to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, and all reported concerns are investigated.

“What disturbs me is that the comments on social media piece together historic incidents (much of which is in the public domain) over a long period of time to give the impression that the allegations relate to young people at risk today.

The incidents in question were subject to investigations and action by the partnership. It is wrong and abhorrent to insinuate that the council has been, or is, complicit in a cover-up of issues relating to safeguarding. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“There is a long-standing commitment in Oldham to tackling child sexual exploitation. The Borough was one of the first places nationally to have a co-located, dedicated partnership team tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE).

“The partnership, learning from failings in other areas, has robust methods for preventing and detecting threats to the safety of young people.

“This is supported by awareness raising and training – building the understanding of professionals about the signs of CSE, training staff working in the night-time economy such as hotels, pubs and taxis, and also raising awareness of children and young people about how to keep themselves safe.

“The partnership is vigilant to risks and will always look at concerns that are raised. Sadly, this does not mean that we can stop every incident from occurring which is why everyone has a role to play when it comes to keeping young people safe.  

“The partnership is always open to feedback on how we can continually improve the work that we do.

“If anybody has evidence of offences, recent or historic, or concerns about the safety of an individual or group of individuals the responsible thing is not to make allegations on social media but report these concerns to the partnership using the contact below so that they can be properly investigated. We would urge anyone who has such information to contact us.

You can contact The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub by calling 0161 770 7777 or email to child.mash@oldham.gov.uk or adult.mash@oldham.gov.uk.

Alternatively, you can complete an online referral form by following: https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/100010/health_and_social_care/1618/oldham_s_multi-agency_safeguarding_hub_mash  

 

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