Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, and Chief Executive Ian Curryer said:
“This Inquiry has carried out some incredibly important work to understand why abuse took place in the past so that lessons can be learnt and survivors can have their voice heard and gain some sense of closure. We accept its findings and recommendations and will take appropriate action.
“This Inquiry has heard about decades of shocking abuse in council-run care homes in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Since taking over responsibility for children’s care in 1998, we accept that Nottingham City Council let survivors down in the worst possible way, and for that and the ongoing impact that has had on your lives, we are truly sorry. We accept that the council made mistakes and should have done more to protect children from harm while they were in our care. It’s clear now that we should have closed Beechwood sooner and replaced it with the family-type homes we run today.
“The council endeavoured to address past mistakes and facilitate appropriate support for survivors but we accept that despite our best intentions we have sometimes fallen short of their expectations. We have been working with some survivors to build on the support already in place to make sure it meets your needs now and in the future, and have already made changes so it is easier for survivors to access the support they need.
“We want to reassure everyone that the council has taken the Inquiry extremely seriously and will be considering its findings very carefully to make sure we’re doing everything we can as well as we can to protect todays’ children from harm and provide the best possible support for you and any other abuse survivors. Like all councils we are constantly striving to improve our services and will redouble our efforts to do that in light of this report. Changes that have already happened both nationally and locally mean that children in our care today receive a standard of care that bears no resemblance to the past.
“We also want to acknowledge that while many survivors feel that an apology is a personal issue, others wanted us to make a public apology. We have now done that, but we’re sorry for any further distress we caused to those who would have welcomed a public apology from us sooner – we didn’t get that right. We want to thank survivors who gave evidence for your brave testimonies which have shone a light on a dark period for Nottingham which we hope will help survivors, and the council, move ahead.
“Finally, we would urge anyone who has been or is being abused, or knows someone who has been or is being abused, to get in touch with us on 0300 131 0300. You will be listened to, taken seriously and given the support you need.”