Rotherham commissioners removed following intervention

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi have announced that the government’s intervention in Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is ending.

Jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Department for Education in February 2015, the intervention was in response to significant failings at the council that contributed to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

However, after three years of work, the government will return control of all services to the council on 24 September, including children’s social care, with the three commissioners being withdrawn. This is on condition that the council commissions an independent progress review of delivery of services to be completed by 18 February 2019, before the directions expire on 31 March 2019.

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Brokenshire said: “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.”

Zahawi added: “Every child, wherever they live, needs to have access to the right care and support so they can flourish in life. For too long the people of Rotherham were let down by the authorities in charge of protecting them. 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.”

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