Reaction to council’s announcement on child sexual exploitation

The council’s decision to commission an independent inquiry into historic child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham is very welcome.

Such abuse is shockingly widespread across the country but in past years specific failings have been exposed in local agencies and I hope that this inquiry, alongside those announced by the police, will give victims a full chance to have their say.

It is vital as a first stage in any independent inquiry that an expert assessment is made of current services to reassure people that the problems in the past have been put right and that any child at risk of sexual exploitation will now get the very best help and protection.

I look forward to the details of the inquiry and want to see it start this work without delay.