At full Council on Wednesday night an update was given on the independent review into historic safeguarding practice that has been commissioned by Oldham Council and Oldham Safeguarding Partnership.
Cllr Sean Fielding, the Leader of Oldham Council, told the Council that as soon after allegations of malpractice around child sexual exploitation first surfaced on social media, the council and partnership commissioned the review to ensure that everything possible is being done to keep young people safe.
It will be conducted by Malcolm Newsam CBE and Gary Ridgeway after Greater Manchester (GM) Mayor Andy Burnham accepted Oldham’s request to use the same methodology and approach to a review that Mayor Burnham has already commissioned across the region.
Terms of reference for the Oldham review will be published next week and be made available on our website.
At Wednesday’s (January 8) Council Meeting, Cllr Fielding said:
“Malcolm and Gary will bring their huge experience in children’s social care and policing to the work, and I can assure residents that they will have the full cooperation of the council for anything they require. Malcolm and Gary will bring a level of knowledge, true independence and expertise that is unsurpassable.
“Using the same methodology and approach for the Oldham review makes it possible to utilise the same team, expertise and processes. This will make the Oldham review as effective and thorough as possible.
“The terms of reference for the review, which set out its scope, methodology, governance and resourcing, will be confirmed next week. These will be publicly available and on the council website. Timelines for reporting will be determined by the review team themselves, to make sure their report is conducted thoroughly, while also recognising the need for public clarity as soon as possible in relation to historic allegations.
“For the review team to conduct their work effectively it is absolutely vital that anyone with evidence of historic failings presents this for consideration. As we have previously said, if anybody has evidence of offences, recent or historic, or concerns about the safety of an individual or group of individuals, please contact Oldham’s multi-agency safeguarding hub in the first instance. If the reviewers do not have full information our ability to learn lessons from the past is restricted and may put young people at risk.
He added: “Child sexual exploitation is abhorrent. It would be naïve to think that cases of child sexual exploitation don’t take place, and the council and our partners must be equipped to prevent and detect it in all its forms. Our systems and services are relied upon by young people to keep them safe. I am grateful to the survivors who have spoken about their experiences and am confident that if the council or our partners could have done more to protect or support them and others that Malcolm and Gary will identify this.”
For more information about the review:
If you have evidence of offences, recent or historical, or concerns about the safety of an individual or group of individuals, please contact The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Phone: 0161 770 7777
Alternatively, you can complete an online referral form: