Editor's comment: Council must not squander this chance
PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 May 2017
The revelations published in today’s Gazette make agonising reading.
No one who had ever held or supported such repellent views, as Sandy Marks did in the early 1980s, should have been left with political oversight of children’s services, nor should they have been anywhere near an investigation into paedophilia in children’s homes.
It isn’t (solely) about whether she held those views when she became a councillor, and she tells us she did not. Her past should have been enough for the council to act. This is about whether anyone knew about the company she used to keep and why nothing was done at the time.
Two long decades, and more, have passed since the most recent reported cases of abuse in Islington children’s homes. But who knows how many hundreds were never known about? The council did not investigate properly – that much was said in the White Report in 1995 – but that need not be the case a second time.
It is not possible to right wrongs, but those in charge today can still show good faith and do the best they can for those whose trust and vulnerability were rewarded with such horrid torment.
The Gazette wholly backs the survivors’ call for a new police-led inquiry into the abuse scandal that is such a blight on Islington’s history.
There are many new faces at the town hall since the early 1990s, and Islington once again has a chance to properly address the catastrophic wrongs that happened in its homes a generation ago.
The seriousness with which the town hall is taking these allegations is to be commended and I cannot state strongly enough how much I hope their efforts are rewarded, at last, with people being held to account – properly, this time.
History will look even less kindly on Islington should this second chance be squandered.