Government to hand power back to Rotherham council after a three year intervention following child sex scandal

Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.
Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.
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The Government will return all powers to a South Yorkshire council from next week following a three-year intervention.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP, inset, made the announcement about Rotherham Council tonight (Tuesday).

The intervention, jointly undertaken by the Ministry and the Department for Education, began in February 2015 following critical reports by Baroness Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey which uncovered significant failings at the council which contributed to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Mr 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.”

He will return control of all services on Monday, including children’s social care, and withdraw all three Commissioners.

This is on condition the council commissions an independent progress review of delivery of services to be completed by February 18 next year and before the directions expire on March 31, 2019.

The action follows the gradual return of selected functions to the council on four separate occasions since the intervention began in February 2015.

Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi MP said: “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.”