Rotherham Council set to get some decision-making powers back

Rotherham Council is to get some of its decision-making powers back, The Government has announced.

The council was stripped of its powers in the wake of the child sexual exploitation scandal in the town, when it emerged that 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013 while authorities turned a blind eye.

The entire political leadership of Rotherham Council resigned over the revelations in February last year and the Government intervened in the running of the authority with commissioners put in charge of many services.

But Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced this week that he plans to return some of the powers to the authority.

He said that nearly a year on challenges still remain ‘but there have been significant areas of progress’.

“Today I am therefore proposing, on the recommendation of the Commissioner team, my intention to return certain functions to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council,” he said.

Services being returned include education and schools, public health, leisure services, housing and highways maintenance.

Licensing, children’s services and adult social care are among the services which will remain under the control of commissioners because they are deemed to ‘still remain high risk’.

Mr Clark said: “I am confident that this is the right time and these are the right functions to return to the council.”