The financial redress scheme for adults abused as youngsters in Lambeth council-run children’s homes came under fire at last night’s meeting of the council’s cabinet.

Cllr Scott Ainslie (Green) said the redress scheme’s remit was to be swift, efficient without re-traumatising the survivors.

“What we have seen from council meetings is that that is not resonating with people who don’t trust Lambeth.

“They feel they are coming back to the council that let them down in the first place.”

The meeting heard that three victims of child abuse in Lambeth council-run children’s homes are set to have their appeals heard by an independent tribunal in the very near future.

No indication of whether the public and journalists will be allowed into these tribunals has been made so far.

Cllr Ainslie continued: “I’m hearing reports of four individuals who have attempted to commit suicide and not getting the kind of counselling and support they need.

“Unless we are really bringing the scheme with us we are at risk of betraying them all over again.

“The ‘Harm’s Way’ payments seem to be progressing . “You seem to think that’s a reasonable rate. “I’d question that.

“On the Initial Redress payments out of less than 50 people only four have accepted which suggests to me that it’s not working. “There’s a disconnect with the people who are seeking to make these claims. “I’d like to flag that as a major concern.

“The other issue I’m picking up and it’s not mentioned in this report before cabinet  is survivors expressing doubt about some of the organisations the council are looking to work in partnership with.

“Shirley Oaks Survivors Association are not prepared to work with the Oxleas Mental Health Trust. “I don’t know why Oxleas are still the preferred supplier for mental health and it’s telling none of the survivors have gone to use that facility”

(That particular remark would draw a very sharp denial from council leader Cllr Lib Peck – please see the opinion piece below this article – Ed.).

Cllr Ainslie said he had asked to see details of what the Survivors QC Mike Mansfield came forward with when the council’s Green group had been briefed that morning (Monday).

“I’m told the council had that sprung on them in Summer 2017 (at the full council meeting on July 19th – Ed.). “The Survivors group say this was not the case.”

Michael Groce, unsuccessful Green party candidate in last Thursday’s Coldharbour ward by-election had also been due to address the meeting.

Cllr Ainslie told the meeting: “I’m hoping that Michael Groce, who was in Lambeth’s care when he was younger, would give a claimant’s perspective on making claims through this redress scheme.” Unfortunately Mr Groce failed to appear.

Further reading: Former criminal turned poet and community worker in bid to become Lambeth councillor – by Kasia Sobocinska SW Londoner – September 10 2018


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