Thomas Bridge 11 September 2014

Pickles launches Rotherham Council inquiry

Pickles launches Rotherham Council inquiry image

An independent investigation into Rotherham Council’s child services and governance will be led by the head of the troubled families unit Louise Casey.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles launched the inspection after the Jay report found around 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, over a third of which were already known to council services.

Casey will publish the findings of her report in November and has been tasked with considering the wider implications of her findings for all of England’s local authorities.

In a written ministerial statement, Pickles said he had directed Casey to examine Rotherham’s exercising of its functions on governance, children and young people and taxi and private hire licensing.

Among a range of key areas for consideration, the inspection will examine whether the town hall covers up information and silences ‘whistleblowers’, if the council is still subject to an atmosphere of ‘institutionalised political correctness’, and if steps are now being taken to address weaknesses.

Pickles will also be writing to council leaders, urging them to consider the implications the recent Jay report for their own authorities. The communities secretary has the power to intervene and take control of Rotherham if he sees fit.

‘Professor Jay’s recent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has painted a horrific and awful picture that the council utterly failed its children,’ the communities secretary said.

‘We cannot undo the permanent harm that these children have suffered. But we can and should take steps to ensure that this never happens again and make sure that all local authorities deliver on their essential duty to protect vulnerable children.’

Responding to the announcement, president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), Mark Rogers, said: ‘Solace welcomes the announcement that Louise Casey will lead the independent inspection into Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

‘Recent events tell us that there are systemic problems in how society deals with child sexual exploitation. Louise’s background will ensure that the review explores the root causes of the problems at Rotherham and their wider implications.

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Finance Officer

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
£91,209 per annum
You will join a high performing, thriving Council, which developing next practice in health and care integration and playing a lead role in... Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Commercial Customer Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 to £43,857
Are you someone who is innovative and has the drive to increase revenue for the Council whilst ensuring excellent service provision to our customers? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Social Care Lead Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£35,745 - £40,876 pro rata per annum
A vacancy has become available for a part time Social Care Lead Officer, to cover in... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£47,845 - £50,900 per annum
To apply for this role please upload your most recent CV that sets out your relevant experience against the job description. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Career Grade Planning Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27978 - £37722 per annum + n/a
Career Grade Planning Officer - West Area and East Area Team The Royal Borough of Greenwich continues to faces an unprecedented growth agenda in terms England, London
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue