Social worker wins award for exposing abuse

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The Independent Online
Alison Taylor, the former social worker who blew the whistle on the child abuse scandal in North Wales, has won an award from the Campaign for Freedom of Information in recognition of those who have fought to overcome official secrecy.

Mrs Taylor (right) was dismissed from her job as manager of a home in Gwynedd for trying to expose abuse affecting as many as 2,000 children, and refused to accept a financial settlement containing a gagging clause. When she challenged her sacking at an industrial tribunal she won an out- of-court settlement without a secrecy clause, and continued to campaign to get the allegations heard publicly.

She subsequently made approaches to the Welsh Office, the Social Services Inspectorate and others but these were unsuccessful.

In 1991, she took a dossier of allegations from more than 100 children to the police, and a police inquiry later led to the conviction of seven care workers. Finally, a judicial inquiry was set up and last month began taking evidence about the child abuse.

In recognition of her stand, the Campaign said: "Alison Taylor's refusal to be silenced has been one of the critical factors in finally bringing the scandal into the light." Mrs Taylor is now a successful novelist.

Another of the annual awards, presented last night, went to the Tory MP Quentin Davies, for his efforts to ensure there was no cover-up over the Willetts affair and the Scott report.

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