We are all familiar with the politically motivated and silly antics of Judy Dalton. First she sent a letter to the ‘Advertiser’ last year saying she would not attend any more Parish Council meetings on the pretext she was ‘bullied’ then she continues to turn up and make a hash of chairing PC meetings. Some months later, after questions about her U-turn were put on the agenda, she remembered to write to the Chairman of APC-John Ireland- saying she “had changed her mind” about not attending APC meetings. She did not announce this publicly. She hoped her initial letter to the press would encourage people to support her but it was a tactic that backfired because her fellow Labour councillors did not offer any meaningful messages of support. At a Parish Council meeting two months later Jo Burton said “I think Judy would be happy not to attend parish council meetings”.
Then we need to review Dalton’s chairmanship of the Rotherham Taxi Licensing Committee…….. Oh dear……… A poisoned chalice landed in Dalton’s lap. The facts about the role of taxi drivers in the CSE scandal are well documented but our fearless heroine was determined to carry on………… Until Louise Casey CB published her report. Political correctness protected abusers because council officers were reluctant to revoke their taxi licences when they were accused of sexual abuse.“Some officers and Members felt they could not raise matters relating to Pakistani heritage taxi drivers and perpetrators because of community cohesion implications,” the report says.
The council knew of reports of children being used for sex in exchange for free rides, vodka, cigarettes or food from taxi drivers, and of drivers picking up girls outside their school so they could perform sex acts on them during their lunchbreak.
But the Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services, responsible for taxi licensing, said that four revocations of licences in 2009 to 2012 represented the “full extent of taxi driver child sexual abuse in Rotherham”. The council’s former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, was a former taxi driver who “made representations on behalf of taxi drivers to speed up the issue of licences in advance of Criminal Record Bureau checks”, the report said. Some members and officers felt “intimidated” by him and said he had made threats.
On 4th November 2014 Dalton said: “Although Rotherham’s current policy is compliant with the law and our standards exceed those of some areas, we felt we had to restore public confidence in the local taxi trade so we propose to raise the standards in a variety of areas. “We hope the industry and the public will respond to the consultation, and share with us their views and advice. We will take this into account and seek to have so we can have any changes in place by April 2015 early next year.” Exceed standards of some areas? Where? Somalia? Afghanistan? Whatever Dalton’s Grand Plan was it failed and failed miserably.
It is strongly rumoured that Judy Dalton will not stand for re-election in May however she has neither confirmed nor denied if this is true. Like her letter to the press we have to wander…Will She…Won’t She? A more pertinent question is How soon will she go?