Lancashire

Blackpool 'inadequate' children's care to stay under council control

Blackpool seafront Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The review found the council were "committed to improving outcomes for children"

Children's social care in Blackpool should remain under the local council's control, an independent review has concluded.

The education secretary commissioned the review after Ofsted rated the service inadequate in January.

It found services were improving and moving to another provider would not result in any greater effectiveness.

The council's leader Simon Blackburn said he was "pleased and encouraged" by the findings.

In its report, Ofsted said vulnerable children were being failed by "key weaknesses" in support services, with some living in "chronic neglect".

The independent review, which took three months to complete, set out to find whether the council had the "capacity and capability to make sustainable improvements", an authority spokeswoman said.

She said it found the council to be "committed to improving outcomes for children", had identified £5m of additional resources to "support leadership capacity and front-line staff" and had shown a "willingness" to accept challenge from the reviewing team.

However, she added that the report concluded that as it was "still early days", the council should be assessed on a six-monthly basis for at least another year.

Mr Blackburn said he was "under no illusion... that much hard work and commitment will be required, not just over the coming weeks and months, but over the next decade".

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