If you cast your minds back to the first week in June, we published an article about a brave young woman who goes by the pseudonym of Cassie. She was abused by more than 100 men who operated in Halifax and Bradford between 2009 and 2010.
Her story is, of course, one of rape, abuse, drugs and vulnerability.
Cassie found the strength and determination to make a go of her life, now being a mother of two children herself, she understands how vital child protection is.
You can find a link to that article and Cassies memoirs HERE.
Cassie has been helping police with their enquiries to track down these depraved, sick, child sex abusers; she also identified systemic shortcomings that let these child abusers carry on with their debauched ways without any legal ramifications for so long.
Now the families of these sick perverts are threatening her, to keep her quiet.
Cassie is a truly inspirational and brave woman.
So what is there to update on the Huddersfield grooming gang case?
When the Huddersfield case came to light, it sent shockwaves through the nation, local politicians, councillors and the media had to deal with the fallout.
One of those on the frontline of that fallout was, of course, Labour-dominated Kirklees Council.
Kirklees Council commissioned a report that was undertaken by a Dr Mark Peel to gain an independent view of the local authority practices at the time of these grooming cases coming to light. The decision to carry out this report was criticised by Councillor Bill Armer who noted that Dr Mark Peel, chairman of Leeds Children Safeguarding Partnership, was given a remit that was way too “restrictive” to investigate local authority practices properly.
Councillor Bill Armer wanted a “comprehensive judge-led public enquiry” into the grooming scandal, we agree with him, a lot more needs to be done other than a report from a Kirklees local authority partner in the form of Dr Mark Peel.
Councillor Bill Armer slammed the report as “either cock-up or conspiracy” and that “the council had sought to play down the scandal.” You can find that HERE.
Strong words, but are they warranted?
Well, it would seem so, Conservative councillors clashed with their Labour counterparts as to the direction, format and scope of the investigation. Labour wanted a close working partner of their own to conduct it, Conservatives, on the other hand, wanted an independent judicial inquiry.
Given that Labour make up the majority of Kirklees council, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a “close partner” of theirs was given the job of conducting the investigation. A Labour amendment to a motion submitted by Conservative councillors removed a specific reference to Kirklees which ended up calling for a broader investigation across England, perhaps to divert attention away from a political mess on their own doorstep?
Maybe to avoid judicial scrutiny?
Who knows for sure?
What we do know for sure is that Labour opposed the Conservative motion and their amendment won the day, due to their dominating presence coupled with their powerful block vote within the council which you can see HERE.
Councillor Bill Armer called the amendment “disgraceful”.
Jacqui Gedman, the chief executive of Kirklees Council, put out a statement defending the council’s position and justified the report. Ms Gedman’s comments did not seem to wash with councillor Bill Armer who responded by saying “the council was guilty of trying to spin the gravity of the situation and the conclusions of Dr Peel’s report.”
Clearly, there is a lot of friction between council Labourites and the Conservatives relating to this matter. That on its own says a lot about how this issue has been handled, could it be partisanship? Possibly, or could it be something more?
The Labour leader of Kirklees is Shabir Pandor, you can find him HERE.
He said that since the events of grooming had come to light, a separate report by the National Working Group CSE Response Unit showed just how much the authority had “moved forward.”
Sure, it’s believable that Shabir Pandor has worked towards improving and implementing change given the fact that the council has had to admit in a couple of cases they “should have been handled differently at the time.”
Too little too late. Childrens lives, destroyed!
You need to go back to the root cause of the problem, a judicial review would certainly hold all those who are responsible for failing vulnerable young children, and bring them to account for their part in allowing the abuse, the rape, the drugging and molestation of them.
A wishy-washy plethora of political platitudes and opaque apologies will not suffice councillor Shabir Pandor.
Will he do anything more about it?
Well, he has written to Sajid Javid by all accounts recommending a national review about child sex exploitation, that’s commendable Shabir, but why oppose a judicial review of those who were responsible for letting this child exploitation go on for so long within YOUR authority?
Does Shabir have any “previous” when it comes to avoiding “sensitive subjects?” and holding people to account?
Councillor Shabir Pandor was at the centre of a row when the National Secular Society revealed 43 Kirklees schools receive halal meat via the authority’s catering service. Seventeen schools with predominantly Muslim children are not offered a non-halal meat alternative.
To make matters worse, Shabir Pandor is happy to defend Kirklees policy of serving NON-STUNNED halal meat to its schools, regardless of peoples opposition to it.
All of us here at TR.News are not making a moral equivalency between the raping, pimping and abuse of young children to the halal meat supply issue, that is not our point. Our point is that when Shabir Pandor is confronted with other welfare/religious/cultural issues that could hurt “his community”, he is swift to dismiss them as being “politically motivated”.
When asked about reviewing the non-stunned halal supply of meat to schools, he said “I cannot commit myself or my cabinet to review this policy.”
“The answer has to be no.”
National Secular Society chief executive Stephen Evans responded by saying “It’s bitterly disappointing to see councillors in Kirklees, particularly the council’s leader, trying to silence debate…
He also went on to say that “These councillors are dismissing the concerns of Kirklees residents who do not wish their council to supply this meat to children, including Muslims who reject the hardline interpretations of Islam that the council has effectively endorsed.”
You can find that information HERE.
If Shabir Pandor is so protective of “his hardline community”, and if he is unwilling to review policies or refuse judicial reviews that get to the very root cause of a problem, hold people to account and make real changes, can we really trust him with the welfare of young children?
Saying kind words, showing sympathy and apologising is not enough Shabir, children deserve much, much, more than that.
We hope you will do more.
If Shabir does not, then people are entitled to get in touch with him HERE and demand that he does do more about it, those responsible should be exposed and dealt with. Hold politicians accountable, don’t let them get away with political posturing or meaningless platitudes, that doesn’t save children’s lives from being destroyed.
Finding a root cause, getting rid of those who failed the victims, and taking appropriate action does.