Shirley Oaks Survivors Group At Lambeth Council

7:00pm, 22nd July 2015 – Lambeth Town Hall

Survivors of Shirley Oaks children’s home made representations to Lambeth Council. The full council meeting was attended by two thirds of councillors. The public galleries overflowed.

Councillors apologised for abuse that happened in the 1960-80s. Survivors said this was the first time they had heard the word “sorry” from Lambeth. Survivors expressed distrust in Lambeth, the Police and the Goddard inquiry. Many survivors would not even step into a council meeting. The survivors group has yet to decide if they will cooperate with the Goddard inquiry.

The survivors group spoke of a climate of fear amongst survivors and potential whistle blowers. The survivors mention the previous death of a potential whistle blower. The group said previous inquiries resulted in the suicide of four survivors.

The survivors accused the council of being party to previous cover ups. The council assured the survivors this would not happen this time. “Liars” was shouted from the public balcony. Opposition leader Briggs spoke of the lack of support from the Labour group for a motion he had forwarded in November.

The survivors group expressed dismay that council records which may help identify abusers are not to be opened for 100 years. The council said this is a central government decision. The records may be looked at by the Goddard inquiry. The survivors do not trust the authorities to study these files alone. The survivors group want access to the files.

Some survivors spoke of their experience. This is not historic because they still live with the consequences. Other survivors had to shout down councillors to have their say from the gallery.

Shirley Oaks Children Home

Shirley Oaks Children Home

I attended the council meeting for another reason and offer this only as my record of events. More information from these links: