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Long-delayed CSE review in Oldham to be published 'within weeks'

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, leader of Oldham Council.

A long-delayed review investigating allegations of child sexual exploitation in Oldham is due to be published this month, leaders have confirmed.

The independent report was commissioned in 2019 by Oldham council, before being moved under the Mayoral remit, to examine the effectiveness of multi-agency responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the borough.

After being delayed for several months it was promised for the end of January, before that date was also moved with a further ‘short delay’ being confirmed by Mayor Andy Burnham.

However after new ‘signficant evidence’ was brought forward to the review team the publication date was delayed indefinitely.

Now Oldham’s new council leader Amanda Chadderton, who took up the reins last month, says she has received assurances the report will be published ‘within the next few weeks’.

The review is being carried out by Malcolm Newsam, a former commissioner for social care in Rotherham, and Gary Ridgway, a former Detective Superintendent of Cambridgeshire Police.

The pair were behind the blistering report into Operation Augusta in Manchester which found serious failings within council social services and Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Chadderton said: “I know many people have been frustrated by the delay in publication of this report. While I understand why these delays were necessary, I also know it is crucial that the report is published as soon as possible, for survivors of CSE and for the wider public here in Oldham.

“This has been an absolute priority for me since becoming leader, and I am glad to say that I am now confident that the launch will take place in June.

“Following publication, I will ensure we as a council do not shy away from any issues raised, but, where necessary, respond quickly and robustly to the review’s findings.”

The Conservative group on Oldham council have twice called for the Home Office to intervene in the CSE review, arguing it had not delivered with the ‘urgency and expediency that concerned residents demand and deserve’.

The remit of the review is to examine historical allegations relating to child sexual exploitation in Oldham and to consider whether the council and its partners – including Greater Manchester Police – provided an appropriate response to protect children.

The allegations chiefly concern ‘shisha bars, taxi companies and children’s homes’, according to the terms of reference.

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