Cabinet member in ‘challenging’ children’s job to go

Coun Andrea Milner.
Coun Andrea Milner.
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THE councillor in charge of Doncaster’s under-scrutiny children’s services department is to step down from her post.

Coun Andrea Milner, the authority’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, is one of five councillors stepping down at the next elections in May.

Also leaving are the current ceremonial mayor Coun Ken Knight, former ceremonial mayor Coun Tony Sockett, independent Coun Peter Farrell and Liberal Democrat Stephen Coddington.

Coun Milner served on the cabinet under both current mayor Peter Davies and his predecessor Martin Winter.

She left the Labour Party at the same time as Mr Winter, when he was thrown out of the party after a fall out with the council Labour group.

She has been in charge at a time when the service has been under scrutiny by the Government, which took control of the departments after concerns over the number of children who had died while known to social services in the borough.

Mayor Mr Davies paid tribute to Coun Milner.

He said: “Cabinet will be poorer for her disappearance. She joined my cabinet in 2009 and took on the most challenging role of all, in children’s services.

“We come from very different political backgrounds but established a great working relationship.”

He said children’s services had been slowly improving under her and paid tribute to Coun Milner’s charity work which has included sleeping outdoors to raise money for the homeless.

Labour leader Coun Sandra Holland paid tribute to the work of Labour councillors Sockett and Knight during their time in office.

Coun Sockett has represented Bentley for more than 10 years, and Coun Knight has been councillor for Hatfield for nine years.

Independent Coun Farrell, who represents the Armthorpe ward, is standing down after illness, having had to have a triple heart bypass operation last year.