Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has said that Rotherham “is learning from how badly it dealt with the past” and that it is going to take time and a lot of commitment to come to terms with the child exploitation scandal that rocked the town.
She said that this was still an ongoing problem that the new crop of councillors would try and deal with in the most appropriate ways possible.
“What you need to understand is that the child exploitation scandal is still going on in Rotherham, just as it is in every town, every city, every village.
“Until we get every abuser basically behind bar, or some kind of rehabilitation, I don’t think we’ll be able to move forwards as a town.
“I know all the councillors who are standing and new council staff are committed to getting that sorted out as a number one priority. It’s something that I’m really supportive of.”
Earlier, Champion talked about the current state of the 2016 local council elections for Labour.
“I’m really pleased with the way results are going. I mean obviously we’ve had a few losses which is sad but what I’m excited about is we’ve got a lot of new candidates who are coming forward who are getting elected.”
The MP for Rotherham said that it doesn’t matter whether it’s Parliament, parish councils or local council, creating diversity is the most important factor.
“Because we’re making decisions that directly impact on people, we ought to represent our constituents, so that’s in age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, whatever it is, diversity is the best thing for politics.
“We were very clear that this election was the start of going forward and getting back to Labour values – fairness, equality, about being stronger together.”
Champion said that Labour put forward candidates that were absolutely committed to Rotherham and understood the values of the town.
“Getting those people to all start working together. We’ve got a lot of new faces but we’re also sure of our values – social justice and making sure everyone is supported to reach their potential.”