Education

28.03.19

Rotherham council finally free of government intervention after restoring ‘moral compass’

The government has confirmed its intervention at Rotherham council will formally end this weekend after it had “transformed from a failing authority to one that is reinvigorated and fully autonomous.”

Central government took over Rotherham MBC in 2015 after its entire cabinet resigned in the wake of an investigation which deemed the council “not fit for purpose.”

But the latest report from commissioners said the “strength and visibility” of the council’s leader Chris Read and chief executive Sharon Kemp has “re-established the council’s moral compass.”

Commissioners said the pace of improvement across the council has “increased beyond their expectations, which bodes well for future prospects.”

The team of five commissioners led by Dame Mary Ney was tasked with turning around the council whose significant failings had contributed to at least 1,400 children being abused in the area over 16 years.

Rotherham council has slowly regained its powers and responsibilities and the commissioners left last year, but the government’s directions remained in place.

Now, communities secretary James Brokenshire and the children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi have written to the council’s leadership confirming that the directions imposed on Rotherham would lapse on 31 March.

They said there was no evidence that suggests the government should seek to extend the directions or put in place new ones, and thanked the leadership for “helping to transform Rotherham from a failing authority to one that is reinvigorated and fully autonomous.”

The report from the commissioners read: “There is clarity on the council’s values and ethos and a whole council commitment to safeguarding young people.

“This gives confidence that the council will be vigilant in protecting the vulnerable, will avoid back-sliding or failure to address adverse issues as they arise.”

Council leader Chris Read commented: “The recent report reflects that huge progress that has been made over that period of time, not just in children’s services, but also the way we approach the big challenges that we face.

“The end of the intervention is an important milestone, and one that should give residents confidence in the changes that we have made.

“But we take nothing for granted, and we continue to work hard to deliver the services that people rely on.”

Sharon Kemp, the chief executive of the authority, added: “We are obviously pleased that the review confirms the progress made and makes clear the council remains committed to its continuous improvement.”

Image credit - Lynne Cameron/PA Archive/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Neath Port Talbot Council threatens to pull out of £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal

17/04/2019Neath Port Talbot Council threatens to pull out of £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal

A council has threatened to pull out of Swansea Bay’s £1.3bn city deal unless it starts delivering projects in the next six months. ... more >
Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

17/04/2019Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

Flintshire County Council has taken over litter enforcement services in the county and urged residents to “take responsibility” over ... more >
City council rejoins ICS after reforms agreed in privatisation and accountability row

17/04/2019City council rejoins ICS after reforms agreed in privatisation and accountability row

Nottingham City Council is to rejoin its local NHS integrated care system (ICS) after significant reforms were made to the way the system runs in... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

15/04/2019Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on secondment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, discusses challenges the public sector needs to engage with to deliver housing supply growth. In... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Connecting the North East

15/04/2019Connecting the North East

Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council Richard Wearmouth outlines the plans to reintroduce passenger services ... more >
What about social care?

15/04/2019What about social care?

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), outlines the challenges facing the social care workforce... more >
How public sector IT can exploit the last 'big things'

15/04/2019How public sector IT can exploit the last 'big things'

Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, outlines the technology-related trends to look out for in the public sector throughou... more >
Brexit's systemic fallout

15/04/2019Brexit's systemic fallout

The third in a trilogy of Brexit articles for PSE, Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, considers the wider constitut... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News