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Content about Local government in England

July 29, 2014

Following an extraordinary Crown Court hearing in which Nottingham Police and the CPS failed to present evidence, child abuse victim and key Beechwood abuse witness Melanie Shaw has been remanded in HMP Peterborough until October.

Members of the public present at the hearing in Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 25th July 2014, described a muddled hearing in which the prosecution simply failed to present evidence, despite the Judge prompting them with references to a finger or palm print.

July 14, 2014

The Beechwood Children’s Home abuse witness is being held in Peterborough prison after unknown police action on Thursday, 10th July, and a secret court hearing on Friday, 11th July 2014. For the personal safety of the individual and in the wider public interest we are naming the witness as Melanie Shaw. 

On Friday, 11th July, the UK Column reported that a "key whistleblowing witness and victim of child abuse at Nottingham Beechwood Children’s Home is effectively missing after sending a text to the UKColumn starting 'pls ring urgent, something has happened n I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow.' Sent at 21:22 on Wednesday, 9th July 2014 the UK Column has been trying to locate the witness ever since."

July 11, 2014

A key whistleblowing witness and victim of child abuse at Nottingham Beechwood Children’s Home is effectively missing after sending a text to the UK Column starting…”pls ring urgent, something has happened n I don’t trust the police and I may be locked up tomorrow…” Sent at 21:22 on Wednesday 9th July 2014 the UK Column has been trying to locate the witness ever since. 

This witness has reported to us rape, intimidation, beatings, physical and emotional threats as just some of the abuses suffered by vulnerable young children at Beechwood, but some youngsters were also witnesses to ‘suicides’ - children ‘falling’ from upper windows. Other witnesses report that children’s bodies were hidden on the site.

Fearful for the physical safety of this highly vulnerable witness, who already alleges a police cover-up and is fearful of the police, we contacted Nottinghamshire Police via their 101 phone line. 

November 18, 2013

Following publication of my research article 'A Government of Common Purpose' I received an email suggesting that I research an organisation named 'Locality'. This is what I discovered.

Upon visiting their website I recollected a series of questions posed by a concerned UK Column reader in February 2011. He wrote:

As I understand it 5,000 Community Organisers have been selected and trained, and are each to be given £20,000 for the first year. Does anybody know what the selection criteria were, who selected them, who trained them etc? Did Common Purpose have a role in any of the above? Are they all pre-existing CP graduates?

July 13, 2012

A major city with a £1.8 billion budget, fraud within Sheffield has affected both national and European funding streams.

Yesterday's UK Column Live investigated allegations of institutional and financial corruption within Sheffield City Council that has swallowed £millions of public money and defrauded ordinary taxpayers.

OLAF, the European Fraud Office, not only failed to tackle financial abuses, but also assisted in the cover-up.

It was alleged Sheffield Chief Executive Bob Kerslake, now head of the Civil Service, assisted this dirty process.

March 31, 2012

Following the UK Column’s exposure of the shocking sexual, racist and physical abuse of students at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College OCVC, we can now reveal that yet further complaints have been made in the last few weeks. Far from prompting a major investigation into child abuse by Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Panel, the latest complaints have been channeled back into the very system that originally failed to take proper action. Is this to protect the past failings of those implicated?

Another new victim coming forward, has also reported a catalogue of abuse, including foul and offensive language, threats and actual physical violence, intimidation - particularly to stop complaints being made, and extremely aggressive behaviour by a member of teaching staff who had been drinking alcohol on a regular basis.  Particularly serious allegations have been made against OCVC Tutor and Programme Manager Mr John Guiver.

June 9, 2011

If we were awarding prizes for Councils hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons then Suffolk County Council would be a strong contender for the first prize.

In June, 2010 it was revealed that the Conservative controlled Council had engaged a spin doctor on £182,000 a year who would 'involve a pro-active approach to communications, particularly in media management, including campaigns, media public relations, marketing events, branding and web'. They had also hired a teletubbies expert to speak at a motivational event for staff.