Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield Council retains control of children's services

Peter Box
Image caption A damning Ofsted report led to a vote of no confidence in council leader Peter Box

A council has been allowed to retain control of its children's services, after failings put the department at risk of a government takeover.

Ofsted found "serious and widespread failures" at Wakefield Council, with vulnerable young people left at risk.

A government-led review into whether the authority should lose control said it had "responded robustly".

Council leader Peter Box said: "The improvement we have achieved so far does not mean we are complacent."

Public service union Unison said workers had been let down by "incompetent senior managers".

Ofsted rated children's services as inadequate after the inspection in June.

Latest news from across Yorkshire

The watchdog found delays in allocating cases and assessing children at risk, as well as social workers with high case loads not having the capacity to meet the needs of children and families.

'Steely focus'

The damning report led to a vote of no confidence being held in Mr Box, which he narrowly survived.

Independent commissioner Peter Dwyer, who led the review, said a takeover could "disrupt the now rapidly developing improvement programme".

In his report, he said the authority now had a "significant degree of stability of political leadership and a wider council senior management team more closely engaged with understanding and supporting required improvement".

Mr Box said: "We fully understand that the scale of the transformation is considerable and the ongoing support of the commissioner is very welcome and appreciated.

"We now need to maintain a steely focus as we continue to ensure that the changes we are delivering make a positive difference to staff and make a difference to lives of our children and their families."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites