Laura Sharman 22 January 2016

Rotherham gains back control of some functions

Rotherham Council will take back control of housing, financial services, education and public health, despite ‘significant’ improvements still needed at the authority.

Communities secretary Greg Clark has confirmed the council be given back responsibility for a number of services but warned more must be done before its full powers are restored.

Mr Clark said that while improvements have been made in some areas, some functions such as children’s services and licensing faced significant challenges.

‘In the last 11 months, Rotherham has made improvements and so I have proposed to transfer control over some functions back from the commissioners to democratically-elected councillors,’ said Mr Clark.

‘But it’s clear there are still significant challenges to overcome before the council can fully regain the public’s confidence and trust, and so it is right that Sir Derek Myers and his team remain in place.’

Following a damning report from Louise Casey, which identified ‘widespread failings’ in governance and service delivery, the Government appointed five commissioners to exercise all executive functions, and some key non-executive functions at Rotherham council.

Lead Commissioner Sir Derek Myers said: ‘While we clearly acknowledge that there is further work to do in some areas if we are to rebuild trust and confidence in the way services are managed and delivered, we would see the restoration of at least some powers as a significant step in the right direction. We await the Secretary of State’s final decision.’

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