Ex-Sunderland City Council boss in talks over child abuse scandal

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FORMER Sunderland City Council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald has spoken to his current employers about his time in charge of Rotherham council.

Mr Fitzgerald now heads up Liverpool city council, but between 2003 and 2008 worked at Sunderland.

He was chief executive of Rotherham Council between 2001 and 2003, when some of the sexual abuse of children investigated in the Jay report took place.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has spoken to Mr Fitzgerald and was due to meet with other top politicians in Liverpool today.

He said: “I have met with Ged Fitzgerald, chief executive of Liverpool City Council, and had a preliminary discussion on the findings of the Jay report in relation to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

“Mr Fitzgerald has given me an overview of his role and recollection in relation to the matters reported whilst he was Chief Executive of the Borough from 2001-2003.

“Following that initial discussion, I have arranged to meet with the leaders of the other political groups on the city council to discuss the matter. I will also facilitate a meeting between the leaders and Mr Fitzgerald to give them an opportunity to ask questions directly about his role at Rotherham. Mr Fitzgerald has already stated publicly, and has emphasised to me, his desire to cooperate fully with any scrutiny of issues that may relate to his involvement. I have also written today to the Home Secretary calling for the government to instigate immediately an independent inquiry in response to the Jay report to establish how the appalling failings of public agencies relating to vulnerable children in Rotherham were allowed to develop in such a way.  

“I will make a further statement within the next few days.”