Letter published in Rochdale Observer in March:
News of the delay in the release of the local report into sex abuse in the 1980s and 1990s at Knowl View special school is disconcerting, particularly given that it is the Rochdale Council under Richard Farnell that is proposing this move. In June 2014, the then Heywood and Middleton MP Jim Dobbin warned Richard Farnell that it was 'not wise' for him to become Council leader while this investigation was in progress.
Now we learn that Mr. Farnell, who also had led the Council in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the events complained of were taking place, is leader of the administration that is proposing to dump the Garman inquiry, and to merge its findings inside the wider Godard inquiry which will not be published for many years hence.
Because Mr Farnell may have given evidence and may well feature in the Garman report it may now be seen as self-serving that the Rochdale Council under his leadership is kicking the results of the investigation into the long grass.