Doncaster mayor pledges child protection review

The new mayor of Doncaster Council has pledged to “clean up” the authority after a series of damning reports into children’s services.

Peter Davies, the country’s first English Democrats mayor, replaces Martin Winter who resigned earlier this year after being widely blamed for child protection failings.

‘Inadequate’ rating

Doncaster Council was one of four councils in England to receive an ‘inadequate’ rating for children’s services in Ofsted’s 2008 annual performance assessments.

A subsequent investigation by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and an expert report published in March concluded that its child protection capability was blighted by weak leadership, underfunding and conflicts between councillors, managers and other agencies.

Davies, a retired school teacher, said that he would “get rid of” some of its 63 councillors, whom he said should share the blame with his predecessor. “It’s going to be a different type of Doncaster Council and we’re going to try to avoid all the dreadful things that have happened in the last 20 years – corruption, the dreadful social services,” he added.

Child protection review

Robin Tilbrook, English Democrats chair, told Community Care that Davies was “fully aware that child protection must be a priority,” saying that a review of the council’s child protection services would begin as soon as possible. “He plans to take careful stock of what the problems are and what needs to be done to correct them,” Tilbrook said.

He added that Davies planned to reinstate social worker posts that had been axed as part of cost-cutting measures, which he said had contributed to the “shambles”.

The Doncaster win by the English Democrat party, which campaigns for an end to mass immigration and withdrawal from the European Union, reflects a UK-wide lurch toward right wing policy in last week’s local government and EU elections.

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