Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed the return of 7 additional powers to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
Just over 2 years since the government intervention started, Mr Javid said he will give the council more control over decisions including adult social care.
This is a significant milestone for the council which regained 12 powers last year.
Government-appointed Commissioners will continue to have oversight of all functions returned, while retaining executive decision-making on 6 other service areas including children’s services. Mr Javid will continue to receive 3-monthly reviews from the Commissioners.
The Communities Secretary also confirmed that Mary Ney will become the Lead Commissioner, replacing Sir Derek Myers who will be stepping down at the end of this month.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
The return of additional powers to Rotherham reflects the significant progress made by the Council under the watchful eye of our Commissioners. I would like to thank Sir Derek for his 2 years of impressive leadership.
The council will have control over a further 7 functions, including important services such as adult social care. However, the Commissioners, now led by Mary Ney, will remain in place and continue to work with the council to help restore full democratic powers.
Improving services in Rotherham
In February 2015, the government appointed 5 Commissioners to exercise all executive functions and some non-executive functions at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
It followed critical reports by Baroness Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey, which found significant failings at the council. This included poor policies and procedures contributing to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is handing back control of the following functions to the council:
- adult social care and the council’s partnership with the NHS
- appointment of council representatives to external bodies
- external partnerships – including relationships with the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Children and Young People’s Partnership – although executive decisions over children’s services remain with the Children’s Social Care Commissioner
- economic growth – including attracting investment from the private sector
- town Centre management – including economic regeneration through retail investment and heritage works
- grounds maintenance and street cleansing – including maintenance of local parks, highway verges and parish council land
The 6 areas that the Commissioners will retain executive decision making power over are:
- children’s social care services
- performance management
- human resources
- waste collection
- community safety
- asset management
Sir Derek has overseen significant reform of the council and led the Commissioner team since the start of the intervention. His departure is consistent with a reduced role for the Commissioner team following the significant return of powers over the last 12 months.
Commissioners with executive responsibilities at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council are:
- Lead Commissioner – Sir Derek Myers, who stands down at the end of this month
- Children’s Social Care Commissioner – Patricia Bradwell
- Supporting Commissioner – Mary Ney, who will take over as Lead Commissioner in April 2017
- Supporting Commissioner – Julie Kenny CBE
Stella Manzie also served as Managing Director Commissioner for a fixed term ending February 2016.
The intervention is expected to end on 31 March 2019.