Management shake-up planned at scandal-hit Rotherham Council to tackle ‘corporate failings’

Riverside House, headquarters of Rotherham Council
Riverside House, headquarters of Rotherham Council
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Plans for a management shake-up at scandal-hit Rotherham Council have been unveiled by commissioners running the authority.

Nine new managerial posts are to be created at a cost of more than £200,000, including bringing in an assistant chief executive.

But cuts are planned to the council’s marketing and communications team, while mid-level managers will have job titles changed from ‘director’ to ‘assistant director’.

There will no longer be a Director of Human Resources or a Director of Transformation under the plans.

While not a direct part of the shake-up, the report by Stella Manzie, managing director commissioner of the council, said it is hoped the authority will be able to start advertising for a new chief executive in the autumn.

She said the changes come in response to the ‘corporate failings’ highlighted in reports and inspections.

There is funding for five of the new posts – including new strategic directors for Finance & Corporate Services and Community Wellbeing & Housing and a voluntary sector liaison manager.

Funding will have to be found for a further four new managerial posts, including an assistant chief executive, a democratic services manager and assistant directors for Community Safety and Independent Living & Support.

The report said the costs of the new management structure will be a ‘minimum of £218,807’ – with the money being found as part of ongoing budget cuts from different services.

It said: “There are areas where other savings can be made through improving systems and driving out the time-wasting of repeat and ineffective work.”

As part of the shake-up, some staff will also be transferred to a new Corporate Performance team, who will help track how different departments are performing.

The review has not looked at children’s services, which is having its structure examined by an internal review.

But Ms Manzie said it is hoped the wider shake-up will enable the council to be more effective in ensuring child sexual exploitation is tackled and children’s services are of a higher quality.

She said: “The reports and inspections in relation to Rotherham have focused on corporate failings such as lack of leadership by members and officers and a lack of vision and strategy to drive the authority forward.

“The failings in children and young people’s services appear not to have been visible to the rest of the organisation and there is no corporate performance framework.”

She added: “Criticism of senior leadership in the Casey Report related just as much to officers as to elected members. It is essential that there is sound, stable leadership at the top of the organisation.”