Child Sexual Exploitation

Like us you will have been shocked by Professor Alexis Jay’s report into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, which look at the time between 1997 and 2013.

We were amongst the councillors who asked for an independent report into what had happened in Rotherham in past, so that we could be sure that the same mistakes aren’t still being made now.

The failings described by Professor Jay were far greater than any of us could have imagined and it is right that a number of people in senior positions, including the council leader, have resigned.

The council has apologised unreservedly to the victims and their families for the very serious failings. We cannot change the past, we can only offer our commitment that we will do everything we can to make sure those failings are not repeated.

The council’s new leadership have made it clear that we all accept the recommendations of the Jay Report in full, and that we will ensure they are implemented.

However, it is important that the council goes further, and a number of additional measures are also being taken:

  1. The new council leadership have made available £120,000 to support victims and survivors immediately, paid for by scrapping two councillor “Cabinet” positions and placing a moratorium on overseas travel by councillors.
  2. The council and NHS are moving as quickly as possible to commission proper long term support for victims and survivors.
  3. The council’s Chief Executive has been instructed to look again at the involvement of any current council staff and to take any necessary disciplinary action, and the new council leader has also written to South Yorkshire Police to request that they do the same with their staff.
  4. The Labour Party nationally are conducting a review of the actions of individual Labour councillors with a view to taking any necessary action.
  5. The council has made it clear that it welcomes independent scrutiny to ensure that all the necessary actions are taken: the Home Office has been invited to review the files to ensure that any and all crimes have been reported to the police, Ofsted are undertaking an inspection of Children’s Services, and a cross-party Improvement Board of senior council figures from across the country has been set up.

In addition, John Healey MP has written to South Yorkshire Police asking for information about the progress of their investigations, and urging them to take the necessary steps to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

There is no complacency about the on-going problems Rotherham continues to face. However, Professor Jay told the Advertiser; “Many, many improvements have been made in the last four years. All agencies in Rotherham have been addressing this. There’s a serious commitment to this now.”


For more information about Child Sexual Exploitation, the warning signs, and advice for parents, professionals and young people please visit the Safeguarding Children’s Board website,

To report any suspicious or concerning activity you should call the police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency). If you have concerns for a child’s safety, you can contact Children’s Services on 01709 823987 (or 01709 336080 outside office hours).

If you have been a victim of sexual exploitation in the past, the Sexual Abuse Referral Clinic can help you. Call 01709 427327 or email

If you wish to speak to any member of your local Labour team about any of the issues raised in the Jay Report, or concerning Child Sexual Exploitation, you can do so at any time using the contact details here.

You can find information about a community awareness raising event that we held earlier this year, and links to previous reports on the subject, by clicking here.


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