Telford child sex abuse allegations

CSE inquiry chair expected to be appointed by May

A chair to lead Telford's independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation should be in place by May, after councillors agreed to start the recruitment process.

Some Conservative politicians, including the MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, have criticised the pace of the inquiry which will investigate the organised grooming of young people in the town.

Council offices
Google

The Labour-run authority says the inquiry is moving at a pace the victims are comfortable with and that it's important the process is done correctly.

Recruitment of CSE inquiry chair to start soon

The process of finding someone to lead Telford's child sexual exploitation inquiry is expected to start next week, but it could take several months to get someone in place.

If Telford and Wrekin Council's Labour-run cabinet agrees to take things forward, a job advert will be placed and the legal firm Eversheds will then oversee the recruitment process.

Telford and Wrekin Council
Google

The Independent councillor who has been chairing the CSE inquiry group up until now, Peter Scott, said: "We all want the same thing and it will take as long as it takes."

And he criticised Conservative politicians who have complained about the time the process was taking, saying "there should be no politics involved, this is about survivors, this is about victims".

MP complains about 'shocking lack of urgency' in CSE inquiry

The MP for Telford has complained there is a "shocking lack of urgency" in the town's inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation.

Speaking in Westminster Hall this morning, Lucy Allan said that one year after announcing the inquiry, "rather than getting to the bottom of a history of sexual exploitation in the town", Telford and Wrekin Council was "creating a tangled bureaucracy that benefits no-one".

Lucy's debate
Parliament Live

Responding, the junior communities and local government minister Rishi Sunak praised the work being done by the authority to support victims, but added: "They need to properly and expeditiously deliver on it and provide answers and justice for the survivors."

Telford and Wrekin Council says the organisation of the inquiry is now in the hands of an independent organisation, which is about to start recruiting an independent chair.

Earlier this week, it reported the Survivors’ Group had welcomed the time frame, saying it was more important to take time to ensure the inquiry "isn’t rushed and that everyone takes the time to ensure it provides the answers survivors and their families are looking for”.

It is now time for the authorities in Telford to be open with the public about the cost of this inquiry, about the timescale they envisage, about the objectives and about the possible outcomes."

Lucy AllanTelford MP

MP raises failure to launch child sexual abuse inquiry

BBC Politics

Telford MP Lucy Allan says almost a year ago the authorities in Telford agreed to commission an inquiry into child sexual abuse in the town.

This still hasn't happened, however, she says.

Lucy Allan
UK Parliament

She asked at Prime Minister's Questions: "Does the Prime Minister agree that the failure to hold the promised inquiry has let down victims and survivors?"

Theresa May says the crimes are "utterly appalling" and the government has given "highest priority" to tackling child sexual abuse.

"It's in the interest of victims and survivors for the inquiry to be set up as soon as possible."

PMQs: Theresa May and Lucy Allan on Telford sex abuse inquiry
An MP asks the prime minister about the lack of start date for an inquiry into sex abuse in a Shropshire town, a year after it was promised.

Law firm chosen to oversee CSE inquiry

A law firm that has worked on the Stafford Hospital, Harold Shipman and Trojan House inquiries has been chosen to oversee the investigation into child sexual exploitation in Telford.

Eversheds Sutherland will draw up the framework for the review and appoint an independent chair.

Telford and Wrekin Council offices
Google

Telford and Wrekin Council launched the inquiry after claims in a national paper that hundreds of young people had been abused.

The company will start work on 3 December and the authority said at that point it would step away, to allow the investigation to be independent.

Victims Commissioner in Telford over CSE

The government-appointed Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has been visiting victims of child abuse in Telford and taking part in discussions with local teenagers.

She was invited to the area by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion.

Baroness Newlove
BBC

Baroness Newlove began campaigning for more support for victims after her husband Garry was murdered by a gang of teenagers in 2007.

CSE project gets funding extended

A Telford-based project to support people abused during childhood has had its initial council funding extended until March.

The Holly Project is run by victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE), in conjunction with the YMCA in Wellington.

Holly project logo
Telford and Wrekin Council

Telford and Wrekin Council says it will spend another £200,000 to help survivors of abuse over the next two years.