Government control of “failing” Doncaster Council set to end early

Ros Jones.  Picture: Andrew Roe
Ros Jones. Picture: Andrew Roe

Government control of “failing” Doncaster Council could end a year ahead of schedule.

The council has been overseen by the Department for Communities and Local Government since 2010.

Intervention was due to end in July 2015 but Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it could now end in September.

In a written ministerial statement Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, said that given the level of improvement that Doncaster has now achieved continuing the statutory corporate intervention will add little, if any, value.

Doncaster council was taken over shortly after an Audit Commission report said it was “failing” in 2010.

The news comes after the results of the recent independent Peer Review, carried out by a team of local government experts, that revealed Doncaster Council is now functioning well and has made positive and tangible improvements in how it is managed and led.

The running of Doncaster’s children’s services, which has been overseen by the government since 2009, will still be transferred to an independent trust.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “I have been determined to lead Doncaster Council out of Government intervention and I am delighted with this announcement which recognises how much the council has changed. It is testament of everybody’s hard work.

“This announcement is an early endorsement of our progress to date. We are aware that there is still more work to do but we are firmly heading in the right direction so we can create more jobs and deliver better services for residents.”

Jo Miller, Chief Executive, said: “This is a landmark moment in the council’s improvement journey. We have changed for the better and it is with huge thanks to our staff and partners for their drive and determination, and who have worked together collaboratively, that we are seeing the results today.

“At the end of September our children’s services will be moving into an independent trust and we are well aware of the significant improvements we still must make for children and families, along with the other public service reform in the new financial climate. Having said that, with the strong governance and leadership we now have in place, we are in the right shape to improve the lives for the people who live, learn and work in Doncaster.”