No council employees will face disciplinary action in Rotherham - where 1,400 children suffered sexual exploitation in a 16-year period, the local authority’s chief executive has said.
Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone resigned today following the publication of a shocking report which detailed gang rapes, grooming, trafficking and other sexual exploitation on a wide scale.
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But council chief executive Martin Kimber said he did not have the evidence to discipline any individuals working for the council despite the report saying there had been ‘blatant’ collective failures by its leadership at the time.
Mr Kimber said: “Officers in senior positions responsible for children’s safeguarding services throughout the critical periods when services fell some way short of today’s standards do not work for the council today.
“To that extent, I have not been able to identify any issues of professional practice related to current serving officers of this council that would require me to consider use of disciplinary or capability procedures.”
Mr Stone said in a statement: “Having considered the report, I believe it is only right that I, as leader, take responsibility on behalf of the council for the historic failings that are described so clearly in the report and it is my intention to do so.
“For this reason, I have today agreed with my Labour group colleagues that I will be stepping down as leader with immediate effect.”
Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said she found examples of ‘children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone’.
She said: “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.”
She said she found that girls as young as 11 had been raped by large numbers of men.