As with the activities of the paedophiles and their friends in north Wales, most of Rotherham will have known.
I am also not reassured just because external inspections of Rotherham Children’s Services are now resulting in glowing reports.
A few days ago a news item on the Radio 4 Today programme discussed how children’s services in Rotherham have been ‘turned around’ since the scandal concerning the en masse sexual abuse of children in care blew up.
It was admitted that ‘we’re still not quite there yet’ and that there are still areas needing improvement, but it was stressed that things were very much better. I have no idea whether anything has really got better in Rotherham’s Children’s Services – people did eventually resign over the scandal (although they all clung on for as long as they possibly could, they certainly weren’t willing to admit that they had wilfully ignored criminal gangs raping kids in care for years) and it might well be true that a clean up has happened and that people who actually know what they are doing are now running the services.
In Nov 2014, whilst Ian Thomas was still working for Derbyshire County Council, he was described as described as having ‘almost 30 years experience in private, voluntary and public sectors including 25 years in local government’ and had ‘worked for Derbyshire County Council since 2006 in a number of senior roles’.
The world was told that Ian had presided over a great improvement in Derbyshire Children’s Services, which was reflected in Oftsed reports.
The Jillings Report was pulped but just a few years ago someone actually turned up with a copy and it was made available.
It was very, very heavily redacted but the conclusion was that horrific abuse had taken place in north Wales since 1974, had almost certainly dated back well before then as well and that what had happened to children in care was indefensible.
Derbyshire Social Services had a problem with child abuse in its child care service in the 1970s and 80s at least and there were connections between some of those who abused children in north Wales and paedophiles in Derbyshire.
John Jillings, who carried out in the investigation into child abuse in Clwyd, was the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services.
Inspections of health and social services can provide a fair and accurate reflection, but inspections are equally capable of maintaining that all is well in very troubled, even dangerous, services.