Cover up? Controversy as public and press ejected from meeting to discuss neglect case

THE public and press were excluded from a meeting at Thurrock Council to discuss the case of a neglected Thurrock teenager.

The decision was made by the Childrens’ Services Committee, chaired by Conservative councillor, James Halden.

The case of Megan had already been published in a general press release but this was an opportunity for the public to hear what councillors, council officers and lay members of the committee thought.

The reports author, former Essex Detective, David Peplow, had already defended accusations of "closing ranks" and assured YourThurrock that the purpose of the report was to be transparent, so it came as something of a shock when, the press were shown the door at the meeting.

It was also noted that several members of the committee were absent including three Labour councillors (Claire Baldwin, Martin Kerin and Yash Gupta), one Conservative (Sue Little) and one UKIP (Leslie Gamester).

That meant there was only one full time member of the committee (who was an elected councillor) and that was cllr James Halden.

Cllr Halden said: "We will publish an audio recording of the meeting in due course."

The report still leaves a large number of unanswered questions that YT will continue to pursue.

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