Who Can You Believe ?

Many thanks to Eye spotter GH.  Originally from Private Eye #1366.

John Pierce, who headed Rochdale Council from 1986-96 was recently quoted in the Manchester Evening News…


The council chief executive who closed Knowl View has rejected claims there was a cover-up at the school.

John Pierce , who headed up Rochdale council from 1986 to 1996, said he was never given any evidence to suggest pupils at the Bamford special school were being sexually abused.

It comes as Rochdale council and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) begin looking into whether widespread sexual abuse at the school had been hushed-up.

GMP say they have identified 11 potential suspects while former MP Cyril Smith and ex-councillor Harry Wild have been named as abusers by current MP Simon Danczuk.

But Mr Pierce, who went on to become chairman of the borough’s now defunct health body NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale until 2011, said he was unaware of the claims while in charge of the town hall.

He added: “To the best of my knowledge there was no cover-up…

…Mr Pierce, of Norden, said three reports, written in 1988, 1991 and a council-ordered probe in 1992 detailing the scale of abuse taking place at the boy’s school didn’t find their way to his desk.

Manchester Evening News

OK, I think we got it. John Pierce didn’t know nuffin’ guv. Right ?

However, Private Eye have unearthed a letter by Rochdale’s acting director of social services written in 1991 which was copied to John Pierce which specifically refers to the 1991 report.

The 1991 Shepherd Report warns that children as young as eight may have been abused there [Knowl View], that many pupils were working as rent boys and that some were being abused by paedophiles on the school premises.

Incidentally, at the time of the 1991 Shepherd Report Cyril Smith was still the Rochdale MP.

The Eye also reference an interview with John Pierce in The Independent from 1995, in which after being presented with damning extracts from the Shepherd Report John Pierce defended the council. He told The Independent;

“All the issues involved were discussed and investigated by a number of agencies and the necessary action taken.”

As Private Eye correctly point out; “If he had not seen the reports into abuse at the school, how could Pierce know that the “necessary action” was taken ?”

Good question.


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

6 responses to “Who Can You Believe ?

  1. no one wants to confide in you your not suprised are you cus im not

  2. alice moore

    Agreed, it`s quite sickening and the reason we should suspect all politicians of whatever persuasion.

  3. Oh can anyone just be honest and tell the truth. How do they sleep at night? The poor children that have had to endure their abuse,and still no Justice…….

  4. alice moore

    That last question clinches it for me. How could Pierce know, without access to the reports, that the `necessary action` had been taken? He could not.

    Necessary action = cover up.

  5. steve