‘Unreserved apology’ for 
council’s role

The leader of Sheffield City Council at the time of the disaster has given an “unreserved apology” for the authority’s failings.

Clive Betts, now MP for Sheffield South East, said: “I was present at Hillsborough on that day, and I was also leader of Sheffield city council. It is therefore relevant for me to reiterate today an unreserved apology on behalf of the city council for its failings in that terrible tragedy.”

The council also apologised for the part it played in licensing and carrying out “inadequate and poorly recorded inspections”.

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The report found that Sheffield Wednesday’s ground “failed to meet minimum standards under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975”. The city council was part of the local Advisory Group for Safety at Sports Grounds along with other officials such as the police.

The report said of the club: “There is clear evidence that SWFC’s primary consideration was cost and, to an extent, this was shared by its primary safety consultants, Eastwood & Partners.”

John Mothersole, council chief executive, said: “Our role has already been subject to public inquiry, including the Taylor inquiry, which found that our actions at the time were wanting and criticised. For that we sincerely apologise.

“Our thoughts remain, as they always have been, with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the disaster.”