Monday, September 24, 2012

THE WILLIAMSON REPORT - COMMITTEE OF 'NON' ENQUIRY












Chief Minister Ian Gorst




COMMITTEE OF ENQUIRY INTO DECADES LONG CHILD ABUSE  



IS TAKING DECADES TO COME TO FRUITION 



THE WILLIAMSON REPORT



HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF?


Remember the Report Lodged by the Council of Ministers under then Chief Minister, Terry Le Squer  in February 2011 R8/2011 and the reasons they gave for not having a Committee of Enquiry? This can read on the link below.

"Jersey's Council of Ministers have done a U-turn on their promise to hold a committee of inquiry into historic child abuse.

When the allegations around Haut de la Garenne broke in 2008 it was feared it was the worst case of abuse anywhere in the UK. 

Shortly afterwards the Council proposed to hold a committee of inquiry once all the prosecutions were dealt with. 

However, they have now changed their mind.

The Council say it would achieve nothing and would cost millions.

The news has angered those both outside and inside the States.

The Jersey Care Leavers' Association (JCLA), who represent victims of abuse on the island, say they are 'dismayed' at the decision and said it was "the final straw" for them.

They released a statement, which said: "It is with the utmost dismay that we hear today that the Council of Ministers has reneged on a promise made in 2008 to hold a full Committee of Enquiry into the Historical Abuse enquiry.

"This really has to be the final straw for us, and the anger felt towards the Council of Ministers over this decision is beyond comprehension. 

"Time and again we have been let down by the States of Jersey, from our childhood right through to this very sad day.

"The lack of caring and the clear intention of the Council of Ministers to not bring closure to this matter, means that exactly the opposite will happen and the public will still have grave misgivings about the whole handling of this affair and the now so transparent cover-up of the historic child abuse investigation.

They added that there had been no consultation with the JCLA over the decision."








Chief Minister, Gorst couldn't get the Council of Ministers (COM)  to agree on the Verita recommendations So he called in Andrew Williamson  a UK care expert. 


Why the (COM) couldn't agree on Verita is plainly obvious


I now give you the Williamson Report. I believe it cost the taxpayer £6,000 pounds but need this confirmed. It must have taken all of 10 minutes to write it.



ANDREW WILLIAMSON

I was asked by the Chief Minister to review both the terms of reference and the recommendations of the Verita report to the Council of Ministers into historical child abuse in the States of Jersey.  The report was published in November 2011 and subsequently considered by the Council of Ministers.

The Verita report recommended that the Council of Ministers should commission a Committee of Enquiry into historical child abuse and listed a number of specific recommendations in relation to the composition of the members of the Enquiry Panel; the various aspects of children’s services that should be investigated and that the timescale for the enquiry should be from 1960 to the present day.  It was further recommended the Enquiry should consider the experiences of the witnesses who suffered abuse or believe they suffered abuse and also the views of staff who worked in the service during this period.

There are also recommendations for the Enquiry to review the actions taken by the Government of the States of Jersey when the various allegations of abuse within the care system were made and finally consider the action the States of Jersey has taken in response to the various reports commissioned over recent years.

Whilst this significant piece of work was being undertaken much work was going on both within the Health and Social Services Department and other departments involved with Children’s safeguarding to ensure all recommendations from recent enquiries and inspections were implemented.

In preparation for writing this report I have carried out a number of enquiries, held meetings with various representative groups for children in, or have been in the care system in Jersey, and also other interested individuals or organisations who responded to the advertisement placed in the Jersey Evening Post in June of this year.  I have also reviewed relevant reports and visited the Jersey Archives to confirm the existence of the relevant records.

One of the most significant developments since the publication of the Verita Report in 2011 has been the implementation of the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme in March 2012.  The scheme is designed to deal with applications for compensation for sexual or unlawful physical abuse suffered by individuals between May 1945 and the 31st December 1994 when in the States of Jersey full time residential care.  This programme was launched with a full apology by the States of Jersey to all those who had been abused and significant efforts have been made to publicise the Redress Scheme to ensure that all those who are entitled to claim for compensation do so within the 6 month timescale which concludes on the 30th September 2012.  Financial provision has been made by the States to ensure independent legal advice is provided to all claimants and financial compensation has been provided for.

To date, a significant number of applications (nearly 100 by the end of June) to be considered for the Redress Scheme have been received.  The Scheme is well publicised and has received media coverage.  At the time of writing this report there are still three months remaining, for those who feel they have a claim to do so.  I have looked at the way the Redress Scheme is being managed, the States response to claimants, and the support offered and I am impressed by the apparent non-judgemental way in which it operates.  It is worth re-emphasising that the Redress Scheme is available for all former residents of Jersey’s Children’s Homes from 1945 to 1994.

It should also be noted that as part of the recent review of the Children’s Services, in addition to the Redress Scheme and formal apology by the States of Jersey to all children who were abused whilst in their care, the States have financially invested in the Children’s Service to ensure high standards of care are provided and that there is external scrutiny to ensure that these are maintained.  External scrutiny exists both in the establishment of the Jersey Child Protection Committee and the reviews of the service by Independent Inspection Agencies.  To further illustrate this point I understand that that as a follow up to its recent comprehensive review of the Children’s Services provided across the Island the Scottish Inspection Agency has been invited to make a return visit in the near future to ensure all recommendations made as a result of the last inspection have been implemented.

Another significant development in the Children’s Service is that since the completion of the Verita Report all of the Children’s Homes, apart from Brig Y Don, that were in operation during the period of allegations of abuse have closed and smaller more ‘family friendly’ homes have been opened, together with a significant investment in the development of the fostering service.  Brig Y Don has been completely refurbished and the management of this Home, together with all the recently opened Homes have introduced more open and transparent approaches to managing the Homes and involving the young people who are resident.  A good illustration of these developments is the introduction of the Statement of Purpose and Function for the Home which is a document explaining the complaints and suggestions process.

To summarise in relation to the service provided for children in Jersey, many safeguards have been implemented to try to ensure a high quality of service is provided by trained, qualified staff who have all been vetted to ensure none possess a criminal record etc.  It is crucial that this vigorous approach to ensuring high standards is maintained.  The Improvement Plan which is updated on a quarterly basis and provided to the members of the Children’s Policy Group provides regular information to the Ministerial Group of the achievements and areas requiring improvement.  The availability of such information provides a valid benchmark for the delivery of quality services.
With regard to the various enquiries at the former Children’s Home, Haut la Garenne, the police enquiry, Operation Rectangle, resulted in convictions against seven former members of staff working at Haut la Garenne and no further prosecutions are proposed.

There is however a strongly held view amongst some of the people who made contact with me during this review that a further examination of the decision whether or not to prosecute should be undertaken.  Given that the Redress Scheme is currently progressing it may be appropriate for the States of Jersey to commission an independent, legal review of the decisions to prosecute or take no further action.  This could be carried out by an independent non island based lawyer and will involve the reviews of factual evidence.  It must be acknowledged that the police have undertaken a review of how they carried out the original enquiry into abuse suffered and general management of Haut La Garenne Children’s Home.

Given the significant investment in the Children’s Service and the Redress Scheme currently in operation a number of the original concerns have been or are being addressed.  Nevertheless from the interviews I have undertaken and the information I have received there remains a strongly held view that there must be an independent enquiry to examine whether the Children’s Services for a long period of time challenged or examined the quality of the services provided and the overall standards of care.  If this didn’t happen was it a deliberate act and was there a conspiracy within the senior management and political representatives to ignore or deny the issues?

Whilst such an enquiry will inevitably be complex there is a strong determination to learn from the past to ensure that such practices, if they did exist, do not happen again.  I would therefore recommend that, in order to avoid confliction with the Redress Scheme and various ongoing police matters the terms of reference for an enquiry are restricted to the issues of managerial and political accountability between 1960 to 1994 (the same period as the Redress Scheme).  This should be chaired by a lawyer and I would recommend a person who is not a resident of the island.  Further that a review could be carried out of the decisions to prosecute or not following the various police enquiries as a result of the Haut La Garenne investigation.  This could also be undertaken by a lawyer who would review the paperwork which was considered at the time to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution.  Finally the States of Jersey may want to consider establishing a Truth and Reconciliation enquiry following the closure of all the claims made under the Redress Scheme.   This could be undertaken by a national children’s charitable organisation and could provide ongoing support and consistency to those who are making claims in the Scheme but have made it very clear to me that they would not be prepared to give evidence to a formal public enquiry.  They would however appreciate the opportunity to talk about their experiences in a more confidential basis if accepted.  This should not commence until the work of the Redress Scheme is concluded to avoid any possibility of adversely affecting the legal processes as the Redress Scheme draws to a conclusion.

Conclusions

To conclude therefore I would make three recommendations to the States of Jersey:-

To convene an independent Committee of Inquiry to look at the decisions taken by both political and senior management of the Children’s Services in Jersey during the period 1960 to 1994 with particular reference to the standards of care provided to children in the care system.

To commission a review of the decisions taken whether or not to prosecute individuals identified during the police enquiry concerning the various allegations that culminated in the enquiry into Haut la Garenne. This can be undertaken by a lawyer, not resident in Jersey, and should be a review of the legal evidence available at that time.

Following the closure of the Redress Scheme in May 2013 the States of Jersey may wish to consider commissioning a Truth and Reconciliation Service to assist those individuals who made claims to talk about their experiences and receive support on a confidential basis.  This would also enable those people who claim they’ve suffered abuse whilst in residential care but do not feel able to give evidence to a full public enquiry to talk about their experiences on a confidential basis.  



Andrew Williamson



They said in 2011 that things had changed and now Williamson repeats it in his report. Do you see a pattern emerging here?


The decision on a Committee of Enquiry (COI) and it TOR'S will be down to the Chief Minister, Ian Gorst.


Does he go along with the Ministers and ruling elite who want a damage limitation (COI) or does he show true leadership and bypass these individuals and lodge a (COI) under his own name with a fully robust terms of reference?


 When do we say enough is enough? 


A (COI)  should be simple and nothing less than what Verita recommended.


There can be only one reason why Verita must be discarded.


IT WOULD EXPOSE THE TOXIC UNDERBELLY 


The Ministers who voted against a Committee in 2011 were: 

Senator
Contre

Senator
Contre

Senator
Contre

Senator
Contre

Connétable
Contre

Connétable
Contre

Deputy
Contre

Deputy
Contre

Senator
Contre

Deputy
Contre

Deputy
Contre


6 of the above are still in the Council of Ministers they are:

Senator Gorst (Chief Minister) - Senator Ozouf (Treasury Minister)  - Senator Maclean (Economic Development Minister) - Senator Le Marquand (Home Affairs Minister) - Deputy Pryke (Health Minister) - Deputy Duhamel (Planning Minister)


Is this where the problem lies?

And What influence does Senator Bailhache Have?


We will be looking at this.


Rico Sorda


Part Time Investigative Journalist


Team Voice


Could I ask readers to look at the petition below regarding Mental Health in Jersey.


Thank You



42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Exactly as predicted May 25th 2012

http://therightofreply.blogspot.com/2012/05/jersey-child-abuse-acta-non-verba.html

Ian Evans said...

Why won't you send "ALL" the Jersey Bloggers links to your posts? Why just Stuart, or Stuart & VFC? Have you lost the feakin plot? or are the rest of us not worthy?

Enough is enough Rico, your either sharing you shit, or you ain't, either way you compromise the attention that the victims may receive, and you lose vast credibility because those with a brain wonder why you aren't sharing your links with all and sundrie who stand against child abuse!!!

Sort it out!!!

Anonymous said...

Why did the following vote against a COI?

Perhaps Stuarts latest blog post will help. http://stuartsyvret.blogspot.com/

Ian Gorst (Council of Ministers Chief)
Philip Ozouf(COM)
Bryan Ian Le Marquand(COM)
Alan Maclean(COM)
Anne Pryke (COM)
Robert Duhamel(COM)
Terry Le Sueur
Daniel Murphy
John Refault
Angela Jeune
Edward Noel

Anonymous said...

A shallow load of rubbish. Love to see Verita's views on this!

Anonymous said...

Just as a matter of interest, I just read the following on the online edition of the Telegraph -

"A senior detective has been charged over allegations that she passed information to the News of the World newspaper."

This is part of Operation Elvedon. It is not clear whether she was paid for this but they are still charging her anyway.

It seems to me that Gradwell did something very similar?

Ian Evans said...

I see you didn't post my comment, I wonder why not? Could it be your impotence of real will? I was met with hostility when I went into your work whilst you were off over your fathers death!

I, in my demonic self righteousness nature opined that I hoped your fathers death was not down to your blogging! The two members of staff turned away from me, and one (Derek) uttered, I don't know what your on about big man!!!

So I left....But they both knew perfectly well what I was on about! You are a major disruption to 800 years of unchallenged inbred rule Rico, myself, Stuart, VFC, we are all in the same boat, but you seem to be rowing separately to the rest of us, how is that?

You feel you are doing more than the rest of us? Or perhaps, that we are doing not enough? Keep your friends, and question what they tell you, for they tell you no lies!!!

Anonymous said...

The council of ministers, their deputies and assistants are the government. other elected members are not,they are mearly part of the legislature.

So says Philip Bailhache here
worth a close read.

Some might find[42]interesting.

Williamson is a sick joke, as predicted on this blog.

Great work as usual rico.

cyril

rico sorda said...

Hi Ian,

The loss of my father has hit me hard but I carry on.

I didn't post your first comment because I went to bed

Thats all I'm going to say on the matter.

rs

rico sorda said...

With regard to the various enquiries at the former Children’s Home, Haut la Garenne, the police enquiry, Operation Rectangle, resulted in convictions against seven former members of staff working at Haut la Garenne and no further prosecutions are proposed.

He can't even get that right. There were 4. Thats what happens when you are struggling to write a report.

I have had one reply to my challenge, but not from the JEP.

More on that soon

rs

Zoompad said...

Deputy Eddie Noel said he had a very close friend who was a victim of abuse.

He said: "People listened, his loving family, his friends, the police, social services and many others.

"In the end it didn't help him and nor would a committee of inquiry.

"Victims need help to find closure, and we must offer that help, but a committee of inquiry will not give them what they seek."


https://pipl.com/directory/name/Noel/Eddie/#

I wish that close friend that he is talking about would come forward because I would love to hear his version of events.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rico sorry to hear of your loss of your father the loss of a loving parent leaves a terrible gap, over time the pain does become less treasure your memories. Ian you do yourself no good with your attacks on Rico at this time

Take care Rico if you can keep up your great work best wishes

Anonymous said...

My first big what the hell has this got to do with it was "One of the most significant developments since the publication of the Verita Report in 2011 has been the implementation of the Historic Abuse Redress Scheme in March 2012. "

This has nothing to do with looking at what went wrong. Furthermore, who would the independent lawyers be, Bedford Row!!! The best way to put a stop to criticism would be to let the lawyers representing the victims have a chance to review it.

Why the cut off at 1994, when there may have been worse cases after that date?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rico,
You know how grateful I am for all the work you & neil do to help us victims, but after reading your blog I am yet again piss** off to see the slogan regarding JCLA. I don't know how many times we have said and I have said to you, they do NOT represent victims of abuse. They represent SOME of the victims. As I fight my own battles with the States as do a lot of us, so please ensure it is stated the JCLA represent only some of the victims. And not as it states below.
"" The Jersey Care Leavers' Association (JCLA), who represent victims of abuse ""

Anonymous said...

OFF SUBJECT MESSAGE TO RICO

I watched your blogTV last week and thought it might be useful for you to hear some critical feedback.

Firstly I fully appreciate the enormous effort and commitment you must put in to inform everybody through your blog and the personal drive to keep going is commendable, so please do not take my comments as anything but trying to be helpful. I guess much of what I have to comment on, you may already be well aware of and I guess there are financial reasons for not doing some stuff.

Firstly I would set up a better backdrop, using white is not good, light reflects off it from the screen and makes your face appear darker, it would be better to have some light projected at angle mainly catching you. I would not use a white sheet, it looks like your in a hostage camp :). Better to use a solid board, maybe black, with well placed zoomed up headlines and a few pictures.

Your enthusiasm and passion was self evident but I am sorry to say not so well presented (understandable, I know). If it were me, I doubt I'd do any better, but I would look at ways to make more professional and try to bring in someone who has a very good command of the English language. Perhaps you could make it more interesting, by making one night, a one issue devils advocate situation, my thought were to ask Cyril to play devils advocate, he would keep the interest by posing questions whilst you provided the evidence, thereby giving a balance, or even Stuart.

James said...

Rico,

I strongly suspect that Mr Williamson has never read Desmond Tutu on the subject of Truth and Reconciliation commissions. Which is a shame, because what is being proposed here is very far from a TRC. If you want to know more, give a shout.

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

An Open Letter to Chief Minister IAN GORST

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208264/Queen-personally-intervened-case-hate-preacher-Abu-Hamza.html

Maybe she should intervene & help in the prosecution of her"servants" that protect child abusers!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rico,
You know how grateful I am for all the work you & neil do to help us victims, but after reading your blog I am yet again piss** off to see the slogan regarding JCLA. I don't know how many times we have said and I have said to you, they do NOT represent victims of abuse.

Rico has asked me to post this comment. He is sorry but he forgot to say that the above quote from the JCLA was from about 2 yrs ago. It was written by CTV and not the JCLA Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

You have my empathies re your father Rico. I lost my father when I was 22. I had just returned home on a week's leave and he died expectantly within the first 24 hours.

It hurts. That's normal.
Time and the memories help though.

The Beano is not the Rag

Anonymous said...

Rico - sorry you are getting flack for doing a good job!

Firstly to the highly insensitive person who dared to use the death of your father in a rant against you should be man enough to apologise to you on this very blog.

Furthermore, to tell you what or what not to put on your own blog (ref JCLA)is also a step to far, especially when it appears they have got it wrong in any event.

Oh dear - stay strong. You can rise far above this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Channel TV made the stalled COI, their main news. Local BBC tv mentioned the COI futher down their priority list and furthermore they went out of their way, more than once, to make the jersey tax payer aware that it will cost THEM over 2 million pounds to take on....

Maybe this long awaited COI will at last show the Jersey tax payer the millions of pounds they have paid towards the Establishment's fund for trying desperately as MP John Hemming rightly says: "to brush it all under the carpet"!?

rico sorda said...

I just want it be known that I don't have any problems with Ian. We must concentrate with what matters most.

The problem is with Senator Gorst and if he can step up and do the right thing.

rs

James said...

Anonymous @0904AM: Why a 1994 cut-off?

Well, isn't it a coincidence that a new Bailiff was appointed in 1995...

Anonymous said...

Rico

Why did the States commission Verita, to produce a report on the child abuse investigation at taxpayers expense then, I presume after receiving and digesting the report from Verita Jerseys COM appear to have found those terms recommended by Verita too hot to handle, as such, Realising if followed it would be impossible to hide the failings in the Jersey care system.

Surely the public can see the serious waste of tax payers money is, to then commission another person to review the Verita report whilst at the same time using PR, State media and a bunch of adjectives such as, investment, change, family friendly, refurbished, open, transparent and ''safeguards'' to convince voters they are serious.

COM members repeating phrases such as we can't change the past or rewind time. But we can learn from our mistakes and create a better future.

I hope the future of Jerseys child care system is not based on oft repeated commissioned adjectives which at the end of the day are simply words.

Anonymous said...

Rico.

When you finally get to meet Chris Bright face to face can you jog his memory of a photo he approved to be published in hard back book which he editored and published in 2000.
The book was titled "A Jersey Century". 100 years of memories from The Jersey Evening Post.
Published by BREEDON BOOKS.
On page 86 there is a caption to a photograph which reads:
******* ******* and **** ***** won the fancy dress contest at Haut de la Garenne fete in September 1974 dressed - or undressed - as Adam and Eve.

The full names of the girl and boy, both no more than 5 years old, were published, and the photograph has to be seen to be believed.

Anonymous said...

re- the photo of HDLG fancy dress-
you will probably be told data protection was not an issue in 2000.
Just like Bailhache said something like "not much was known about child abuse back in the 1990's" (as his get out clause for that honorary who abused a girl in the back of his police car).

Rico- your blog is excellent. Thank you for your massive contribution in getting the truth out.

Anonymous said...

"not much was known about child abuse back in the 1990's"

In other words, everything was done to keep it covered up, now we have these damm blogs its all we hear about.

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Live and interactive guest on Blog TV tonight at 7pm is DEPUTY TREVOR PITMAN

thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

Put up audio of VFC on the Radio yesterday. you & your readers can Listen HERE

Is this a new Era.

Anonymous said...

Catch phrases are powerful tools. I propose that we call it the Committee of Non-enquiry just as you did, and it can be abbreviated to CONE. As it stands, that's what it is.

Verita is the "Real Terms of Reference."

Wlliamson is Willyabeourchap.

Ian Gorst if CF, Chief Figurehead.

P. Bailhaiche is DFK, Defacto King.

Anonymous said...

Could someone get offered the position of a Jurat in return for actions that may have been believed to save Jersey reputation.

Anonymous said...

Rico I have just watched the two earlier broadcasts you did this evening on blog TV.

I'm shocked that a report costing only £6,000, errors included, by Mr. Williamson a report the Jersey Evening post, suggest is the authorative, comprehensive, sincere attempt to delve deep into the truth, is, in anyway up for consideration by the Council of Ministers Ian Gorst, Philip Ozouf, Ian Le Marquand, Alan Maclean, Anne Pryke, Robert Duhamel, Terry Le Sueur, Daniel Murphy, John Refault, Angela Jeune and Edward Noel to suggest this, as coming anywhere close to what a committee of enquiry should deliver. That, as outlined in the Verita report is an insult.

The world is watching.

Anonymous said...

How about inviting a consultant who wrote the Verita report, as your next guest?

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Last night's live, and interactive, broadcast recording with DEPUTY TREVOR PITMAN.

Ian Evans said...

STRAIGHT TALK

Zoompad said...

Why did the MET not want to solve this murder?

Póló said...

"How about inviting a consultant who wrote the Verita report, as your next guest? "

Now there's a worthy thought.

Anonymous said...

Has the jep got something to hide?

Anonymous said...

"Has the jep got something to hide? "

Now there's a question and a half. It does seem that it is cozying up to Sir Phil even more than usual. For comfort and possible protection perhaps?

With regards to future guests on the BlogTV broadcast, could Leah be invited on by either using Skype or Google Video Chat?

The Beano is not the Rag

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Guest Posting from JCLA Chair and Abuse Survivor CARRIE MODRAL

Anonymous said...

An interesting statistic mentioned by Boatyboy on PJ this morning. Speaking of the Child Abuse Topic, he says, "This thread read more than 88,400 times."

That is a lot of attention paid to a single Jersey topic. Why would anybody think the issue will go away or be dismissed with an obvious whitewash by Williamson.

Ian Evans said...

Another high profile ANIMAL too add to Jersey's shame.