News

12.07.18

Buckinghamshire split into two unitaries would be ‘retrograde’ for children’s services

Buckinghamshire County Council will retain its children’s services after a new government report found that, although there is still long a way to go, the services are on the right path to improve.

This is a positive step as the report said that “some progress had been made following the 2014 judgement,” but noted that this was still “partial and limited in its genuine impact on performance.”

The Department for Education (DfE) appointed commissioner, John Coughlan CBE, chief executive of Hampshire County Council, carried out a comprehensive three-month review after a negative Ofsted report in November 2017, and found “no valid reason for the introduction of an alternative delivery model in Buckinghamshire.”

As part of the report, the commissioner spent time meeting with children’s services staff and partners and “strongly endorses the current direction of travel of the authority.”

The DfE has also appointed Hampshire County Council as improvement adviser to support Buckinghamshire’s improvement programme.

Coughlan stated that he is “against any local government re-organisation proposal which would break up the existing children’s services structures in Buckinghamshire,” as the cost and pain of reorganisation would far outweigh the arguable local benefit.

Martin Tett, leader of the council, said: “I endorse the commissioner’s extremely clear conclusions on local government reform. Any splitting up of the county into two unitaries would not be positive for children's services.”

Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, acknowledged the report’s suggestion that the best way to continue the authority’s upward trajectory is not to outsource services into a trust or any other alternative delivery model, but to “utilise sector-led improvement and the expertise of high-performing local authorities.”

“In light of current discussions over local government structures in Buckinghamshire, the commissioner’s report warns that splitting children’s services into two different local authorities at this stage would be ‘high risk’ and ‘retrograde’, and that a single council accountable for all of its children’s services is the ‘safest’ option for vulnerable children,” continued Edwards.

“We are sure the government will take this into account when it makes its final decision on reorganisation the county.”

Top image: ChrisAt via iStock

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... 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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... 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 open more > more last word articles >

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 welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

March 2019

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News