Latest Public Sector News


Inquiry launched into post-scandal Tower Hamlets and Rotherham council takeovers

The Communities and Local Government Committee (CLG) is inviting written submissions that can shed light on council takeover processes following the notorious Tower Hamlets corruption scandal and the Rotherham child sex abuse scheme.

As part of the investigation, motivated by its previous report that dug into the large-scale child sexual exploitation scheme that unfolded in Rotherham, the CLG will examine the effectiveness of central government takeovers and the subsequent processes of handing back power to councils.

Commissioners took over grant-making functions in Tower Hamlets in late 2014, as well as the sale or disposal of property and council publicity.

In Rotherham, they took over executive control of the whole local authority, whose cabinet resigned en masse earlier this year after an investigation deemed it “not fit for purpose”.

As a result, the committee also aims to identify any lessons for possible future interventions.

Labour’s Clive Betts, chair of the committee, said: “Seizing control of a local authority's powers is an extremely serious step for any government to take.

“We will look very carefully to see if this has been done effectively in Tower Hamlets and Rotherham and explore the efforts being made to return democratic control to the two communities. The committee is also keen to see if the process can be improved for possible cases in the future.”

Through written submissions, relevant parties can discuss the actions taken by both councils to address their failings before commissioners were imposed; the criteria for imposing commissioners; the effectiveness and performance of these commissioners; and their governance and decision-making processes, as well as their general relationship with elected councillors.

Bodies can also write about DCLG procedures and criteria for handing back functions to the councils and the extent to which other councils responded to and learned lessons from Rotherham and Tower Hamlets.

The deadline for submissions is 13 June.

(Top image: c. Lynne Cameron, PA Wire)


Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... 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 ... more >