The political make-up of most local authorities whose children’s services departments are failing remained unchanged in the council elections.
Troubled Doncaster was the only local authority to move from having no party in overall control to having a majority administration. The challenge of the new Labour administration will be to counter persistent infighting on the authority which is still led by a directly elected English Democrat mayor.
Last month the government established an emergency advisory board to take urgent decisions at Doncaster, in addition to the improvement notice on its children’s services department.
It followed a damning Audit Commission report on its failure to improve. The seat of the current lead on children’s services, the independent councillor Andrea Milner, was not up for election this year.
Elsewhere, the Labour majority on Haringey Council increased. The most recent Ofsted report was largely favourable towards moves the council has made to improve its children’s services post-Baby P.
Control at Sandwell, Leeds, Birmingham and Warrington remained unchanged.
Overall, Labour made large gains in the local elections, taking control of 15 councils, including Harrow, Liverpool and Oxford. The Conservatives lost eight councils and the Liberal Democrats four.