Sheffield & South Yorkshire

David Cameron says cash available for Rotherham child sex abuse victims

Prime Minister David Cameron
Image caption Prime Minister David Cameron said Rotherham Council would be put up for election in 2016

Cash will be provided to help victims of child sexual abuse in Rotherham, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

His announcement comes a day after the resignation of Rotherham Council's leader and cabinet.

Government commissioners are lined up to intervene after a report said the authority was "not fit for purpose".

Mr Cameron said the authority suffered "a failure of leadership, of management" and the whole council would be put up for election in 2016.

Speaking on BBC Look North, he said: "I'm glad we've acted swiftly to remove a council that, frankly, was not doing its job properly.

"The Casey Report is incredibly hard-hitting and damning so we need a new team in there straight away to run things, to sort it out, to make sure the lessons are learnt and, of course, to help the victims."

Louise Casey was asked by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to inspect the council in the wake of the Jay Report in August 2014.

The Jay inquiry found 1,400 children were abused by gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani origin, from 1997 to 2013.

Rotherham 'needs stability'

The council's interim chief executive, Jan Ormondroyd, apologised for its failure to act over the scandal and said the authority "should have done more in the past".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The inspection team reviewed approximately 7,000 documents and met more than 200 people

Asked about what cash would be provided for the victims of the scandal, Mr Cameron said: "Let's not pretend this was all a problem of money.

"It was mismanagement, political correctness, bullying, sexism - all sorts of problems highlighted in the Casey Report.

"Of course if resources are needed they must be provided but this is not a failure of resources, it was a failure of leadership, of management and much else besides.

"If the money is needed, the money will be provided."

Mr Cameron also said the commissioners would have powers to "do what they like... to an extent".

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said the government was legally obliged to allow two weeks' consultation on the proposal to send in the commissioners.

"Following that the government will do everything it can to help get the council back on its feet as quickly as possible and start to provide the better services that local people deserve," he said.

"We agree Rotherham now needs a period of stability, effective leadership and a fresh start following the devastating failures uncovered in the inspection report."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites