Dispute over child abuse compensation

By Mark Conrad | 26 July 2017

Lambeth LBC is at loggerheads with a group of child abuse survivors over its proposed victims’ compensation scheme.

The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA), which represents victims of historical abuse at former care homes in Lambeth, wants the south London borough to establish an independent panel to oversee compensation claims for historical abuse.

Lambeth’s leader, Lib Peck, has accepted that widespread physical, sexual and psychological abuse took place at local care homes, but wants to establish a council-led redress scheme.

The dispute is understood to have come to a head last month, when police were called to an incident at Lambeth’s Brixton offices.

SOSA representatives initially refused to leave the building until they met with council chief executive, Sean Harriss, who declined to meet them that day.

In the aftermath of the incident, Mr Harriss has been absent from work and he is not expected to return for a number of weeks.

A council spokesman said: 'Lambeth chief executive Sean Harriss is absent from work due to ill-health.

'He will return to work in due course.

'Over the summer our strategic directors will be providing chief executive cover.'

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