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Letter from David Whelan to Mr Ian Fraser, Corporate Director of Education and Social Care, Inverclyde Council, 10/10/2007.

Mr Ian Fraser
Inverclyde Council
Corporate Director
Education and Social Care
Municipal Buildings
Greenock
PA15 1LY

16th October 2007

Dear Mr Fraser

Further to your letter dated the 10th September 2007 received.

I have just returned from annual leave so this is the first opportunity I have had to respond to the points and issues that you address in your letter.

There are a number of points which you have claimed which we take issue with as these are in fact inaccurate for a number of reasons.

  1. The full investigation you claim has been carried out by Strathclyde Police into the past abuse issues of Quarriers Homes. In fact the Strathclyde Police have written to a number of Quarriers victims who are alleging abuse, stating the they will not be investigating all abuse allegations for a number of reasons.
  2. We have provided to the Scottish law Commission a copy of the said documentation sent by the Strathclyde Police to a number of the alleged victims of Quarriers on this very issue. Please feel free to contact the Scottish Law Commission and obtain a copy of the documents submitted by FBGA.
  3. The Fife Council, Independent Inquiry was in fact commissioned by Mr Bernard Devine, the Chief Executive of Fife Council on the 5th February 2001 following the subsequent conviction of a former carer Mr Murphy. The Independent Inquiry carried out by Anne Black and Ceri Williams investigated how systematic abuse was able to be perpetrated over such a long period including other child protection measures which failed. The allegations against Mr Murphy dated from 1957.
  4. I am enclosing a copy of North Ayrshire Council, Social Services - agenda 3, dated the 16th April 2002 which gives an outline of the Fife Council's position and recommendations into these matters which concerned Historical Abuse. This report and recommendations can also be obtained on the Council website.
  5. Point 3 in your response you highlight what you believe to be significant developments towards learning from the past situations I presume you mean in child protection measures and that the issues of child protection are taken very seriously by the current Inverclyde Council.
  6. But even more disturbing is that when Mr Porteous was released from Peterhead Prison in March 2006. He was housed in Finlayson Place in Kilmalcom which is a local authority housing estate and as a convicted paedophile he was permitted to live next door to a registered Care Commission childminder who was caring for young children.
  7. The Inverclyde spokes person claimed to the journalist who had investigated this matter pertaining to the childminder that all agencies involved followed the required guidance and procedures laid out by the Scottish Executive.
  8. Perhaps you can explain how Mrs Helen Porteous was to claim in 1999 and 2002 in letters that her husband who was under police investigation for child abuse was still working for Quarriers? Copies of theses letters I submitted to the Scottish Petitions committee in December 2004.
  9. Can you explain why the Quarriers Chief Executive, Mr Robinson, allowed those who were apparently deemed ex-employees under police investigation for abusing children to continue to represent the care organisation and in fact Mr Porteous was elected to show a journalist around the organisation, the Sunday Herald article dated the 10th November 2002 revealed this and also the fact that the Quarriers organisation continued to allow those under police investigation for child abuse to continue to rent property from the care organisation within the close vicinity of vulnerable young children and adults being cared for by Quarriers Charity.
  10. Why was the Chief Executive of Quarriers Mr Phil Robinson able to state in the Scottish Sunday Mail that a convicted paedophile could return upon his release to the organisation? Quarriers do not have a license to manage convicted paedophiles in the community.
  11. Why were Quarriers ex-employees up to 2001 responsible for confidential children's files which are protected in law?
  12. Perhaps you can explain then why Mr John Porteous a former housefather of Quarriers convicted in 2002, who was investigated by police in 1982 went on to be co-opted on to Kilmalcom Primary school in 1992 till 1994 even though serious concerns were raised through the Inverclyde Council as to his suitability at the time
  13. Also that Mr John Porteous was able to be a Chairman of an Inverclyde Children's Panel in 1996 even given that concerns were raised in 1992.

It would appear that although there may have been in your words significant developments these are useless unless the care organisations such as Quarriers are properly investigated and deemed fit for purpose going forward to ensure that they are stringently independently regulated to ensure that those in their care, are cared for properly and protected in the future and that carers who are abusers are removed from the system before they can cause untold damage.

Mr Robinson the current Chief Executive of Quarriers has permitted many things in relation to the current organisation in support of alleged and convicted paedophiles and their supporters. That should cause anyone to have serious concerns with regards the current Quarriers organization also.

You see we as a survivors group have addressed these issues through Quarriers but the current Quarriers management have failed to address the issues properly or explain why they permitted such practices even until recently.

Taking into account all of the above and including the convictions of so many former carers and many more children alleging abuse who have had no recourse in Law.

The Inverclyde Council have clearly failed in your duty to-date. Unless Inverclyde Council take a lead in establishing an Independent Inquiry into Quarriers such as the Chief Executive of Fife Council did in 2001 with regards historical abuse issues pertaining to that Council's responsibilities. The future looks bleak for vulnerable adults and vulnerable children cared for by Quarriers Charity and a repeat of the past cannot be ruled out

Only a Full Independent Inquiry established by the Chief Executive of Inverclyde Council into the past historical abuse issues concerning Quarriers Homes will establish the full extent, causes and failures of the past.

FBGA would like to ask Inverclyde Council directly do you support our calls for a full independent inquiry into the past abuse issues of Quarriers Homes.

Yours sincerely

 

David Whelan

FBGA (Former Boys and Girls abused in Quarriers Homes)

Enc, Fife Council Agenda, 2002

 
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