Number of Rotherham abuse victims suing police and council up to 25

A total of 25 child sexual abuse victims have now come forward to take legal action against Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police - leaving the organisations facing the possibility of paying out millions in compensation.

David Greenwood, of Switalskis Solicitors, said 10 more victims have come forward in the wake of the Jay Report, to join an initial 15 his firm was already representing.

Mr Greenwood said preliminary discussions have started with the police and council, with the legal firm hoping out-of-court settlements can potentially being agreed at some point next year.

He has previously said the girls may be entitled to average payouts of £100,000 each, based on similar cases elsewhere in the country.

Mr Greenwood said more victims may still come forward.

He said: “I expect gradually more and more girls will come forward but it will be a tiny percentage of the 1,400 who have been affected.”

New Rotherham Council leader Paul Lakin suggested at a full council meeting earlier this week that paying such claims could be covered by the council’s insurance policy.

It comes as the council announced the make-up of its new slimmed-down cabinet. But the majority of the new cabinet is made up of the same members that served on it before.

The cabinet has been reduced in number from nine councillors to seven but has retained four previous members, with Councillor Mahroof Hussain’s area of responsibility changed from community cohesion to environment.

Coun Lakin has moved from deputy leader to leader following the resignation of Roger Stone, while Coun Dominic Beck remains in charge of business growth and regeneration and Coun John Doyle still holds responsibility for adult social care.

Those to join the new cabinet are new deputy leader Emma Hoddinott, Coun Christine Beaumont who will oversee children and education services, and Coun Maggie Godfrey, who will take over responsibility for ‘safe and attractive neighbourhoods’ from Coun Rose McNeely. Others losing their posts include Coun Gerald Smith, Coun Amy Rushforth and Coun Ken Wyatt.