The day-to-day running of troubled Rotherham council will be taken over by five commissioners, local government secretary Eric Pickles announced today.
Led by Sir Derek Myers, the former joint chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham councils, the team of commissioners will undertake all of the authority’s executive functions and begin a rapid improvement programme.
Malcolm Newsam will remain in Rotherham as children’s social care commissioner, while Mary Ney and Julie Kenny will act as supporting commissioners.
Stella Manzie, a former chief executive of four councils, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of all services until a new permanent chief executive is appointed.
The drastic move was first proposed following the publication of Louise Casey’s damning report into the running of Rotherham council. Having consulted on it for three weeks, Pickles confirmed the intervention would go ahead with immediate effect.
Pickles said the council is currently “incapable” of tackling its weaknesses without substantial intervention.
“Louise Casey and Professor Alexis Jay’s reports made clear that Rotherham suffered from a complete failure of political and officer leadership, with a pervading culture of bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced political correctness that has cemented the council’s failures,” Pickles said.
He added he is prepared to make £250,000 available over two years to re-establish Risky Business, a Rotherham-based child sexual exploitation service closed in 2011.