DETECTIVES who investigated claims of historic sexual abuse at a children's home will meet council officials over allegations of “a poor culture of care”.

The Argus can exclusively reveal that detectives are meeting council officials about the now closed children’s home in Preston Road, Brighton this week.

Former staff members at the defunct home reported a poor culture of care while officers were investigating the alleged rape of a 14-year-old boy in the 1980s.

Sussex Police is meeting with East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday to discuss how to proceed with the new wave of allegations.

In 2013, two men who worked at the home – a 64-year-old from Eastbourne and a 68-year-old from Hove – were arrested on suspicion of raping a boy at the East Sussex County Council-run establishment.

Police concluded there was not enough evidence to recommend a prosecution and the case was dropped late last year.

The children’s home at 251-253 Preston Road closed in the early 1990s and was taken over by Brighton and Hove City Council.

It was then used by the council’s children’s services as offices for its child protection unit but closed in 2012 when the office moved to Moulsecoomb.

Last year councillors voted to lease the building to Southern Housing Group to provide more than 30 new homes, though work is yet to begin at the site.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council said the authorities treated allegations about children in care very seriously.

He added: “We will be working closely with Sussex Police to examine thoroughly the concerns raised in this case, in line with the stringent safeguarding procedures we have in place, and a decision will be made as to whether any further action is necessary.

“It would be premature to draw any conclusions about the home in question, which has been closed for many years, before this process is concluded.

“However, it should be pointed out that these allegations date back to the 1980s, since which time great advances have been made in the culture and practices surrounding children in care.”

A spokesman from Sussex Police said: “A 64-year old Eastbourne man and a 68-year old Hove man were arrested in 2013 on suspicion of the rape of a boy then aged 14 at an address in Brighton in 1986. The allegation was received for the first time in 2013.

“They were released on police bail and following a thorough enquiry it was concluded that there was insufficient evidence to justify recommending criminal proceedings to the CPS.

They were therefore stood down from their bail at the end of last year.

“The address was at the time a children’s home run by East Sussex County Council but it closed in the 1990s. The two men arrested had been members of staff and the boy was a resident at the home.

“However during the police investigation officers received some reports from former staff at the home of a potential poor culture of care at the time, although there were no allegations of criminal offences. These reports will be shared by police with East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council officers at a meeting later this month, for their consideration as to what action they wish to take.”