Last Friday I wrote to the Mayor of Liverpool stressing my concerns at the way Liverpool had been brought into the Rotherham question.
I have just received a reply from him. This is not a criticism of speed because he is, apparently , on holiday. I also suspect that because he is on holiday he has not been able to be fully briefed about what has been said by who and when. However I do not believe that this reponse is adequate. But its up to the people of Liverpool to decide whether it is so I attach the response here:
Anderson, Joe (Mayor of Liverpool)
Today at 6:51 PM
Dear Councillor Kemp
Thank you for your letter dated 29 August, which I have only had the chance to fully digest. You will be aware that on Friday 29 August I issued a public statement in response to the independent report commissioned by Rotherham MBC. A copy of that statement is available on the council’s Liverpool Express website here http://www.liverpoolexpress.co.uk/statement-mayor-liverpool-joe-anderson-alexis-jay-report-cse-rotherham and I was truly shocked at the extent of the appalling circumstances which were revealed. For your reference, following publication of the independent report last week, noting Ged Fitzgerald’s role as former Chief Executive, I did speak directly with the author of the report Alexis Jay, and have also tried to speak with Rotherham MBC’s current Chief Executive, Martin Kimber.
Whilst I have made my position clear on this matter, I will address some of the inaccurate points in your letter. Your understanding of the communication sent from Rotherham MBC appears to be confused. Mr Kimber has stated in his response to the investigation that ‘it would be important for the current employers of those senior officers who worked in Rotherham’s child care services department during the critical period, and who are still involved in professional practice, to read the independent inquiry and form their own conclusions as to their role’. The City Council however has received no such communication from Rotherham MBC in the terms you have suggested. Further, I am certainly not aware of alleged comments you have recounted from the current President of Solace, although I have absolutely no intention of handling this matter in the manner in which you suggest.
I will be discussing the matter with Mr Fitzgerald and seeking clarification in relation to his role at the time. Notwithstanding, it is important to correct the wording you have used in your letter. Mr Fitzgerald has already indicated that he did not say that the report was ‘anecdotal, used partial information and methodologically unsound’ but that this was how professionals in Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police treated the research. I do not see how this has any implications for the way ‘information’ is dealt with in Liverpool, but if you can logically explain how you arrived at this conclusion, I would be grateful to receive it.
Whilst you may seek to sensationalise the issue and react in a kneejerk manner, as I have stated, I intend to talk in detail with Mr Fitzgerald when I return shortly from holiday and deal with the matter in full possession of all the facts.
Mayor of Liverpool