Islington Survivors Network grill council leader at Question Time event

PUBLISHED: 17:41 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:20 04 October 2018

Cllr Richard Watts takes questions from the Islington Survivors Network at Leader's Question Time. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Cllr Richard Watts takes questions from the Islington Survivors Network at Leader's Question Time. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey


Social workers who witnessed abuse at Islington children’s homes will face no recriminations for speaking out, the council chief vowed at a tense meeting last night.

Members of the Islington Survivors Network (ISN) scrutinised Cllr Richard Watts at the Leader’s Question Time event, in the Cally’s Goodinge Community Centre.

Cllr Watts took four questions from survivors, after reiterating his apology for the “horrific” safeguarding failures made by previous administrations.

The network asked: “Has the council contacted all current staff who worked in Islington social services, prior to 1995, to support them in coming forward and assisting ISN without fear?”

The Islington boss replied: “We don’t have a complete list of staff who worked for us prior to 1995 but we will make efforts.

“Former staff are encouraged to contact police – there will be absolutely no recrimination.”

Survivors then asked whether Islington will continue to fund its “excellent trauma service” for survivors.

Cllr Watts committed to a continuation if the scheme, which is provided by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “I’m really pleased it’s valuable and we will continue to fund it.”

So far Islington Council has paid survivors £2.1 million in compensation.

In 2017 a Gazette investigation exposed alleged links between former mayor of Islington Sandy Marks and pro-paedophile campaign group Fallen Angels, which argued sex with children should be legalised.

An “independent review” was launched this year to examine what impact, if any, it had on the way Ms Marks chaired Islington’s social services committee from 1991 to 1995.

Her chairship coincided with the multiple investigations by Islington into the child abuse scandal, culminating in the government’s much-maligned White Report in 1995.

The results are due to be made public within the next fortnight.

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:16

Bookworms could get their names in works by high-profile authors such as Margaret Atwood and Lee Child and raise money for a Holloway torture charity at the same time.

Yesterday, 16:02

Two new police constables will be deployed to Highbury West next month to help tackle drug-related problems across the ward, the Gazette can reveal.

Yesterday, 12:38

A walk through history will raise cash for the mayor of Islington’s chosen charities on Sunday.

Yesterday, 11:47

The community celebrated “sustainability” and British apples in Gillespie Park on Sunday.

Yesterday, 11:00

Nearly 20 people were arrested in a wave of early morning raids across north and south London, with drugs and cash seized linked to drug dealing and violence in Camden Lock Market.

Yesterday, 09:50

Youngsters gained insights into the world of business at a King’s Cross careers event on Monday night.

Wed, 16:58

Wireless promoters defended the music festival at a licence review hearing last night, saying it is a “celebration of grime music” that causes no public nuisance.

Wed, 16:54

Kids with learning difficulties need diagnosis and support sooner “to avoid the devastation exclusion can cause”, claims a councillor.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now