Austin Macauley 25 August 2015

Rotherham to remain under Government control until 2019

Rotherham to remain under Government control until 2019 image

The Government has said it is likely to take four years until full powers are returned to Rotherham Council following intervention after a sexual abuse scandal emerged in 2014.

It is also planning to launch new measures designed to ensure 'there can be no cover-ups' across local government.

Phased return of council functions are expected to take place between now and March 2019, it said, with the improvement board – installed by ministers last year – remaining in place.

In its response to the communities and local government select committee's report on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, it said: 'All functions are expected to be returned to the council within four years. The terms of the intervention will remain in force until 31 March 2019, unless amended or revoked at an earlier date.'

It added: 'Rotherham’s successful return to full democratic control will be rooted in the improvements and assurance processes of the intervention itself.'

The Government will also publish new guidance to local authorities and other organisations with safeguarding responsibilities amid fears that failures at Rotherham Council are indicative of widespread problems with local government scrutiny.

This will include 'a new expectation that all organisations that have safeguarding responsibilities must have internal whistleblowing policies in place, which are then integrated into training and codes of conduct'.

It added: 'This will improve how organisations manage whistle blowing cases so there can be no cover-ups.'

A new national single point of contact will be created for child abuse-related whistleblowing reports to ensure all professionals can raise concerns about how their organisation is protecting children from the risk of abuse. This will be used to 'spot patterns of failure across the country and link to the new joint area inspections where there are concerns'.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles had formally intervened at the council following the publication of Professor Alexis Jay’s report into child sexual abuse in the region, which estimated at least 1,400 girls were sexually abused between 1997 and 2013.

The independent inquiry found Rotherham MBC failed in its duty to protect some of the most vulnerable children in the borough, with 'collective failures of political and officer leadership’.

The scandal led to mass resignation at the council, with its leader and entire cabinet pledging to quit.

Visit The MJ (£) to read their interview with Sir Derek Myers on 'progress' in Rotherham.

Photo: ©JThomas

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Arts Officer Projects and Commissioning

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £36,036 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking to join an innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking team? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

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