City Council drafts action plan into sex abuse inquiry findings

Nottingham City Council.
Nottingham City Council.

An action plan dealing with how Nottingham City Council will learn from the findings of the inquiry into historic sexual abuse in Nottinghamshire will be made public next month.

The council has formally agreed the plan would be discussed by its safeguarding board at the end of the month, before being made public in October.

The authority and Nottinghamshire County Council were both found to have failed in their duty to protect children in a highly-critical report by the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse, which was published at the end of July.

The inquiry looked into the rape and sexual assault of youngsters in children’s homes and foster care from the 1960s onwards.

The city council has now taken the first step to doing this.

However, the full report is yet to be published, because the council says it needs to share it with “partners”, before making the report public.

The county council is due to approve its action plan this week.

Both councils were told they now needed to look at the risks posed by residential staff and foster carers and to respond to the report within six months.

The city council says several of the issues raised by the inquiry have already been enacted and its action plan will include ‘far more’ than just the recommendations specified by the IICSA report.

Councillor David Mellen, city council leader, told a meeting of the council’s executive board: “The IICSA report is a very serious report that we are taking with due diligence in looking at its recommendations.

“Generally, the encouragement from the report is for us to look at the ways we look after children in our care and to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep them safe, to help them thrive, to ensure the voices of children are listened to and that there are plenty of opportunities for children to be heard.

“The actions we will make as a result of the IICSA enquiry will be contained within an action plan which we will publish in due course.

“We hope to get the plan to the next executive board meeting for reporting once it’s gone through the various channels, so people can look at the action plan, and it will be shared widely.”

Alison Michalska, city council corporate director for children and adults, told the meeting: “Some of the areas of practice in the action plan we have already refined, following the hearing and the publication of the report, and we have already changed our practice in some areas.

“So the action plan will expand on the criticisms that are implicit from the hearing or implicit in the report and what we have already done about that, and what we have scheduled to do about that.

“The action plan will cover far more than just key recommendations specified in the report.”