Call for major investigation into historic child abuse in Bucks

UKIP councillor Phil Gomm
UKIP councillor Phil Gomm

A major investigation should be launched to discover if children known to social services have been abused in the past, according to a county councillor.

UKIP councillor Phil Gomm wants every child ever cared for by the council’s social services department to be quizzed about their experiences.

It comes after Ofsted slammed the county council’s children’s services as ‘inadequate’, while a major police operation has seen several men from Bucks accused of child sexual exploitation.

There is also the ongoing probe into Jimmy Savile’s abuse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Mr Gomm said: “I don’t think anyone can put their hands on their heart and say when this started. I want to go back until the pain stops.

“It could be thousands. We look after 400-something children each year so times that by 50.

He acknowledged such an investigation could be very expensive, but added: “It is involved but at the end of the day, finding them is not the issue, these people’s lives are the issue.

“Logistically, it has got to work. We have the means of contacting them, the stepping stones are in place.”

Mr Gomm wants a dedicated team to contact vulnerable children known to the council in the past.

He said: “You become sensitive to what is going on now but this is not just a problem now. Let’s open it up to the past .

“We’ve just commemorated 100 years since the war. We don’t forget about them. So why should we forget about those people who have suffered?”

He is proposing the open motion on Thursday in front of the county council and wants an immediate survey to find out how many children have been cared for and if they have been contacted since.

He said fellow councillors have been ‘supportive’ of the motion but some think the council can simply not afford to find the children and offer them support. “There’s been a bit of negativity which I was shocked about,” Mr Gomm said.

“But that’s people’s opinions.”

“They say: ‘Why bring up the past? The past is the past’.

“I find that quite offensive actually. In the public domain, they wouldn’t dare say that.

“There is a bigger picture that we need to look at here and we have to get to grips with it.

“I’m quite worried but I’m hoping that it will be passed.”