Government to hand back powers to Rotherham

20 Sep 18

The UK government will return all powers to Rotherham Council after a three-year intervention, the communities secretary has announced. 

James Brokenshire hailed the council’s “strong progress” after investigations uncovered significant child exploitation in 2015.

As of Monday 24 September, the government will return control of all services to the council, including children’s social care, and withdraw all three commissioners who have been in place since 2015.

Brokenshire said on Tuesday: “Vulnerable young people who should have been protected were repeatedly failed by Rotherham council, which is why the government stepped in to ensure these errors can never occur again.

“I am pleased that strong progress has now been made at the council with the support of the commissioners.

“The return of all powers to Rotherham Council is not a decision that I take lightly, but I am satisfied that the council has learnt the lessons of the past and is now able to provide the services its residents deserve and expect.”

Government intervention in Rotherham began in February 2015 and was jointly undertaken by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education.

In January of this year, Ofsted inspectors rated Rotherham’s children’s services as “good”.

Nadhim Zahawi, minister for children and families, said: “The handing back of local children’s services to the council marks an important step for this town.

“I am pleased that vulnerable children in Rotherham are now getting the help they need when they need it, and I hope to see continuing improvements through the independent review next year.”

The children’s commissioner for England recently told PF that the government must clarify the minimum children’s services authorities must provide.

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