ABOVE: Steve Garner
More council bosses are expected be called before Parliament to explain why cries for help from child sex victims were ignored by those who were supposed to protect them.
It comes after Rochdale council’s former chief executive Roger Ellis appeared before the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Also giving evidence were Mr Ellis’s successor Jim Taylor and Sara Rowbotham, a front line sexual health worker, who revealed the full extent of the scandal to MPs.
A spokesperson for the committee said they were planning to hear more evidence on November 20. They added the committee had not yet decided who would be called.
But when they meet they are likely to want to explore Mr Ellis’ evidence that neither he nor his senior managers were told social workers were reporting dozens of cases where young girls were being sexually exploited by gangs of older men.
Earlier this week, MPs heard that during the time the abuse was reported by social workers, the council’s director of children’s services role was held over the years by Terry Piggott, Steve Titcombe and Cheryl Eastwood.
They also heard that Steve Garner had been in charge of the children’s social services team from 2009.
Mr Garner has already been called to appear before the committee but was too ill to attend.
MP Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Committee chairman, said a judicial inquiry may now be needed to explore why the council did not act sooner.
Greater Manchester Police, the council and Crown Prosecution Service are already holding their own investigations into how they dealt with the scandal while a serious case review is also taking place.
Mr Vaz said Keith Bristow, head of the National Crime Agency may be asked to look into the case. He added: “Clearly we will have to wait for the outcomes of the prosecutions to be completed but it seems appropriate that there should be a further inquiry into why the council failed to act and maybe the best course of action for this committee is to draw Keith Bristow’s attention to the evidence given, because as the Home Secretary has said, he will be coordinating other examples of abuse in other parts of country.”
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said all managers involved in the council’s failure to intervene sooner needed to explain their actions.
He added: “Having heard Roger Ellis deny knowing anything about sexual abuse and claiming senior managers did not tell him anything, there is clearly a need for Steve Garner, Terry Piggott, Steve Titcombe and Cheryl Eastwood, to be held to account.
“If any judicial inquiry is to take place they need to be called to give evidence.”
Mr Garner, Mr Piggott, Mr Titcombe and Mrs Eastwood are no longer employed by Rochdale council.