Authorities will be questioned this evening as an extraordinary council meeting is to take place to discuss the findings of a damning report looking at child sexual exploitation in the borough.
For the first time since it was published a week ago, residents and councillors will be able to question the authority’s leaders and Chief Superintendent Chris Bowen, District Commander for Oldham from Greater Manchester Police, from 6pm. The meeting is being held in the council chamber at the Civic Centre and will also be screened on the council’s website.
The review, carried out by experts Malcolm Newsam and Gary Ridgway, found that vulnerable children had been failed despite efforts to protect them between 2011 and 2014. You can read more on the report here.
A specific case dating back to 2005 involving ‘Sophie’, a 12-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped, is singled out for intense criticism for the way authorities dealt with the investigation into her assaults by strangers, and for the failure to take action when she was being groomed online.
The Liberal Democrat opposition group has already confirmed that tonight, their members will be calling for staff who failed vulnerable girls in the past to be held accountable. It is expected that there will be a significant public turn out, with protesters also anticipated to take a stance outside.
Follow our live blog below. Reporter Charlotte Green is at the meeting and will be bringing you the latest updates.