Rotherham's MP Sarah Champion tells me: "Someone said: 'If there had been an earthquake in Rotherham that had ruined the lives of more than a thousand families, and local structures were down, we would get emergency help. But 1,400 children's families have been decimated, local governance is in disarray – and we are being left to deal with it.'"

In August, the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham set out the horrific scale of the town's problem, the vicious abuse that shattered victims' lives, and the "blatant" failures of the authorities to stop or prevent it.

Almost four months later, the town is still reeling. Community spirit unravelled in the wake of the investigation, which confirmed that the majority of the perpetrators were Asian – British Pakistani men. Far-right groups marched through the streets and there was a spike in Islamophobic abuse nationally. Little seems to have improved.

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