The council chief executive who closed Knowl View has rejected claims there was a cover-up at the school. John Pierce, who headed up Rochdale council from 1986 to 1996, said he was never given any evidence to suggest pupils at the Bamford special school were being sexually abused.
It comes as Rochdale council and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) begin looking into whether widespread sexual abuse at the school had been hushed-up. GMP say they have identified 11 potential suspects while former MP Cyril Smith and ex-councillor Harry Wild have been named as abusers by current MP Simon Danczuk.
But Mr Pierce, who went on to become chairman of the borough’s now defunct health body NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale until 2011, said he was unaware of the claims while in charge of the town hall.
He added: "To the best of my knowledge there was no cover-up.
"From the evidence that was passed to me, as far as I can remember, there was nothing there that led me to believe anyone was trying to cover-up anything. "It could well have been that staff in my department were aware of the reports but they didn’t bring them to my attention."
Mr Pierce, of Norden, said three reports, written in 1988, 1991 and a council-ordered probe in 1992 detailing the scale of abuse taking place at the boy’s school didn’t find their way to his desk.
See also: http://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/teacher-kept-job-for-16-years-after-pupils-found-sex-tapes/