Thinking Anglicans

Interference with the ISB

We have published several news reports recently, that relate to the Independent Safeguarding Board, here, and also here, and earlier over here. These provide some context for a letter from David Lamming published in the Church Times this week under the heading Church Interference with the ISB that summarises the current difficulties:

Sir, — The Annual Report 2022-23 of the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB), written by the two members, Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves, and published on 24 April, blows away any remaining claim that the ISB is independent, stating on page 19 that it “currently exists within the structure of the National Church Institutions with oversight from the Archbishops’ Council”.

That servile relationship with the Archbishops’ Council is highlighted by the fact that Meg Munn has been imposed on the ISB as acting chair, in clear breach of the ISB’s terms of reference, which state that the Archbishops’ Council “ratifies” board appointments and that each member is appointed following a process that includes “public advertisement of vacancies” and “the use of expert recruiters to ensure a wide field”. Added to this is the obvious conflict of interest in appointing a person who also chairs the National Safeguarding Panel.

It is especially disturbing to note, according to the report in the Sunday Telegraph on 23 April, that neither board members nor abuse victims were consulted over the appointment of Ms Munn, and that the members were “instructed not to engage with victims on matters of ‘independence and the arrival of the chair'”. Given, too, the expressed lack of confidence in her by many survivors of abuse, Ms Munn must surely now state that she will not take up the role of acting chair, and the Secretary-General, William Nye, must give a full account of how her appointment came to be made.

In February, General Synod members were denied the opportunity to debate the ISB (News, 2 February6 February). Patently, such a debate must take place at York in July, when those responsible for the current débâcle can be held to account.

DAVID LAMMING

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Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
11 months ago

This remains such a live issue and there are already 31 comments attached to the thread on this subject from last Sunday .
David Lamming’s letter is excellent but his conclusions, though right, also seem somewhat optimistic. Can anyone else see Ms Munn willingly standing down, or those responsible for the current débâcle doing anything other than wriggling away frantically prior to the meeting in York lest they be held to account ?

Martin Hislop
Martin Hislop
11 months ago

Yet more evidence as to why Parliament must legislate to create an Independent Ecclesiastical Ombudsman.

Froghole
Froghole
11 months ago

Many thanks to Mr Lamming for this, and his comments on another recent thread (and many apologies also to Ms Sanghera and to Mr Lamming for having mistaken Ms Sanghera’s identity on that thread – a false memory of mine). If it is the case that the ISB has no corporate identity or legal standing, and is a mere emanation of Archbishops’ Council (AC), then presumably any claim to be made by any abuse victim (including Dr Percy) would need to be made against AC, which would presumably be indemnified for its costs by EI and/or the Commissioners. I assume… Read more »

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