Action plan to ‘draw line under’ council taxi failings

Peter Mullineaux, leader of South Ribble Borough Council

Peter Mullineaux, leader of South Ribble Borough Council

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THE leader of South Ribble Council has announced a raft of new measures in a bid to “move on and draw a line under” recent failings at the authority.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday night, there was a fiery discussion regarding a 210 page scrutiny report into how a review into taxi licensing failures was handled.

The dossier was commissioned after an independent investigation into reports of child sex exploitation by taxi drivers was concluded, and highlighted major governance failings.

After some confusion - with a large number of members expecting a vote on the recommendations contained in the report - it was instead decided that it be noted and passed to cabinet members for actions.

Leader Councillor Peter Mullineaux said work had already started on improving a corporate plan, there was an action plan being drawn up for all recommendations and the council was committed to delivering an annual report on safeguarding.

He also said there would be a review by the Local Government Authority in six months time to “ensure proceedures are in good shape.”

He said: “Now is the time to move forward. We need to put the reputation of the council back on top.”

But several criticisms of the report and proceedures were made, with Conservative Councillor Caroline Moon attacking her own leader for wanting to ‘draw a line’ under recent ongoings.

She said: “These families (of children in the original report) were assured a voice and role in this process and they have been denied both.

“I’ve been hearing people speaking tonight about drawing lines, but is it not right that we give families closure before we trot on with our roles in this council?”

Coun Michael Green said the report was “fundamentally flawed”, questionning whether it relied upon unsigned notes, and why people referred to had not been given a right of reply.

He said that he, and Councillors Moon and Bennett, were taking legal advice on the report.

Councillor Alan Ogilvie criticised the structure of the report. He said: “There is no analysis and no discussion.”