Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rochdale Council couldn't protect kids at school!

Paul Rowen knew about problems at Knowl View
PAUL Rowen, who took over from Richard Farnell as the leader of Rochdale Council after Richard Farnell left the office in 1992, says he was made aware of a report about the Bamford special school 'the week after taking over', but has told the Rochdale Observer he failed to read it because he 'foolishly thought the issue had been dealt with'.
Mr. Rowen is now blaming the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for failing to secure prosecutions after the allegations of continuing abuse at Knowl View came to light.  He said:
'There were still ongoing concerns and the police were still saying that while they suspected people at the school were involved they hadn't got grounds to prosecute.  On that basis, we took the decision to ask the governors to close the school.'
It seems, in Mr. Rowen's view, that either the police or the Crown Prosecution Service 'didn't feel the boys were credible witnesses and they didn't feel there was a chance they could secure a conviction.'
At present Greater Manchester Police say that they are reviewing their files to assess if there is enough evidence to support opening a criminal investigation into the previous allegations which were not followed up.
Despite all this activity over Knowl View in the 1990s in which Paul Rowen found out soon after taking over Richard Farnell's job, Mr. Farnell who has just seized power on the Rochdale Council as its leader is still insisting that he didn't know anything about the allegations at Knowl View in 1992 when he was last leader.  Chris Jones in this Wednesday's Rochdale Observer writes:
'Coun Farnell told the Observer allegations surrounding Knowl View "were not brought to his attention" when he was in charge and "any suggestion that he knew about the allegations" was "nonsense".'
Two months ago a former chief executive of Rochdale Council, John Piece, claimed he had seen 'no evidence' of a cover up. 
Northern Voices wonders if sleepwalking is part of the job description at Rochdale Council.

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