I must respond to last week’s Courier’s coverage of the Serious Case Review which investigated the case of sexual abuse against a vulnerable young girl (“We’re Sorry”, Halifax Courier, November 25).
I am pleased that our current senior officer, Stuart Smith and council leader, Tim Swift, were brave enough to take collective responsibility and apologise for the gaps in services which meant that this young person was not helped as quickly as she should have been.
However, it is important to point out to your readers that the catalogue of offences committed between 2008 and 2011 did not actually take place on their watch.
Stuart Smith came to Calderdale as interim director in 2011. Councillor Tim Swift became leader in 2012.
And since 2011, decisive changes have been made to children’s services in Calderdale – changes that have improved how services work together and how we recognise and respond to signs that young people are at risk. The Serious Case Review recognises and endorses these improvements and states that it means it is very unlikely that the same failings would occur again.
This is the most important message from the review and the one that should provide reassurance to everyone in Calderdale.
Coun Anne Collins, Lower Skircoat Green, Halifax