Martin Kimber quits as Rotherham Council chief executive in wake of abuse scandal

Rotherham Council chief executive Martin Kimber
Rotherham Council chief executive Martin Kimber
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Rotherham Borough Council’s chief executive Martin Kimber has resigned in the wake of the town’s child sexual exploitation scandal.

Mr Kimber announced this morning that he will leave the council at the end of the year. He said his departure was the ‘right thing to do’ for Rotherham by allowing a new leadership team to come in at the council.

He joined the council in 2009 and has now agreed with Councillor Paul Lakin, deputy leader of the council, that he will step down.

Mr Kimber had initially resisted calls to quit following the publication of the Jay report into the sexual exploitation of an estimated 1,400 children in the town between 1997 and 2013.

The report highlighted serious historic failings by the council and South Yorkshire Police in protecting children and young people and resulted in council leader Roger Stone, who had been in post since 2003, quitting.

In a statement today, Mr Kimber said: “The report does not make comfortable reading in its account of the horrific experiences of some young people in the past, and I would like to reiterate my sincere apology to those who were let down when they needed help.

“The events of the past fortnight will again have been an incredibly traumatic time for them and their families, and have shaken the town as a whole.

“The council has now decided what it must do to give the best possible protection for the children and young people of Rotherham. I believe that new leadership will enable the town to recover more quickly from the events of the last two weeks, and strongly signal a new beginning at this critical time in its recovery.

“The time is therefore now right for me to leave.

“I will be sorry to leave Rotherham but firmly believe that this will leave the council in a stronger position in the future. It is therefore the right thing to do in the interests of the people of the town.

“I remain committed to supporting colleagues over the next three months.

“There is no more important job for this council than to ensure it continues to work with partners to seek justice for those young people and their families who are affected by this vile crime, and to give our vulnerable children and young people the protection they deserve.”