Rotherham Council’s commissioners will leave next week, Government announces

Good health: Rotherham Council has been declared fit to resume normal service
Good health: Rotherham Council has been declared fit to resume normal service
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Rotherham Council will return to normal functioning next week when its Government appointed commissioners – installed to oversee the work of the authority following the child sexual abuse scandal – leave.

Rotherham Council will return to normal functioning next week when its Government appointed commissioners – installed to oversee the work of the authority following the child sexual abuse scandal – leave.

It was announced in the summer that the council was fit to return to normal functioning, with councillors in control, and that has now been confirmed by James Brokenshire, the secretary of state for local government.

Most powers had already been returned to local control and the announcement means the Government is satisfied Rotherham Council is now operating to a satisfactory standard.

Council leader Chris Read said: “Today’s confirmation of the early departure of Commissioners from the Council is testimony to the hard work of many people over the last few years.
“The announcement comes on the back of our “good” Ofsted report for children’s services earlier in the year.

“That our Children’s Services have been transformed has been a critical indicator of the changes that we have made. But it has only been one part of challenging, re-examining, and improving the way we work and the culture of the Council.
“We could not be where we are today if it wasn’t for the dedication of lots of people – our staff, partner agencies, Commissioners and councillors – who were all united in determination that the people of Rotherham should be better served than they had been in the past. My thanks go to all those people today.
“I’m delighted with the progress that we have made. Whilst the work is never complete and we continue to face significant challenges I hope that residents will be able to take assurance that we are firmly on the right track.”
The council’s chief executive, Sharon Kemp, said: “Over the past four years there have been significant changes here at the council, including changes across the leadership.
“Today’s announcement is pleasing however we continue to focus on constantly improving outcomes for all our residents and stakeholders.”
Lead Commissioner Mary Ney said: “The Commissioners are pleased that the continuous hard work of members, officers and partners in Rotherham has resulted in sufficient improvement for democratic decision-making to be restored to the Council.
“Whilst the Council still faces challenges we have confidence that the leadership of the Council is strong and will work hard to address these. We would like to thank the Council and all of the members and staff we have worked with for their efforts and commitment and we wish the Council, its partners and Rotherham well for the future,” she said.