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‘Big strides forward’ being made in Rotherham as Javid returns more powers

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has this week confirmed that a further five functions will return to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council following significant progress made by the authority.

Earlier in the year, Javid stated his intention to return powers including community safety and waste collection back to the council. He has now confirmed this will be the case.

Back in March, DCLG returned most of the decision-making powers to the authority, something the communities secretary said was a “major milestone”.

The council has now regained eight powers in the last nine months, although the commissioner team will still oversee children’s services (including all services relating to child sexual exploitation), the appointment and dismissal of statutory officers and payment of special allowances.

Powers were removed from the council in 2015 following a scathing report that laid bare the authority’s failings following its high-profile child sex scandal.

“The council is continuing to make progress under the watchful eye of our commissioners and the return of additional powers to Rotherham reflects this progress,” said Javid.

“However, the commissioners will remain in place and continue to work with the council to help restore full democratic powers.”

Cllr Chris Read, leader of the council, welcomed the announcement, adding that it was confirmation that it was on the “right track” although it was still making big strides toward the full restoration of all powers to Rotherham’s democratically elected members.

“It is testament to the hard work and collaboration of commissioners, members and officers, to improve services for local people,” he stated.

“Significant improvements have been made in children’s social care but we are clear there is still more to do. There is no complacency, and we will continue to push forward with our improvement plans to ensure these services are the best they can be for our children and young people, and their families.”

Top Image: Lynne Cameron PA Wire

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