Former Leicester City chief executive Sheila Lock was today appointed as new interim director of children’s services at under fire Norfolk CC.
Last month outgoing children’s services director, Lisa Christensen, announced her decision to stand down, after a concerted campaign involving all nine Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs in the county.
The political move, spearheaded by childcare minister Liz Truss was sparked by a damning Ofsted report in February rated Norfolk’s child protection services as ‘inadequate’ - with inspectors warning there were significant delays between risk identification and the provision of care.
Sheila Lock will replace Lisa Christensen when she retires 18 July. Ms Lock is currently interim director of children’s services at Cardiff Council and previously led Leicester City Council out of a notice to improve during her time there as chief executive.
Sheila Lock, who was the top officer at Leicester City Council until the role was scrapped by directly-elected mayor Sir Peter Soulsby in August 2011, was appointed to the Cardiff role while the council recruited and put in place a permanent director and an assistant director.
Cllr James Joyce, Norfolk cabinet member for safeguarding, said: ‘We acted quickly and purposefully to bring in a respected and experienced interim director to lead children’s services to help deliver rapid and significant improvement.
‘We have been in close contact with the Department for Education and the chairman of Norfolk’s Improvement Board over this crucial appointment and together, are confident that in Sheila, we have secured an outstanding candidate to take our services forward.’