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Birmingham appoints new children's services director

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Birmingham City Council has appointed a new executive director for children’s services, for the second time in three months.

Alastair Gibbons’ role will cover all aspects of children’s social care and he will report directly to Peter Hay, who is strategic director for people.

Mr Hay will retain his role as the authority’s statutory director of children’s services, a position required under the Children Act 2004.

Mr Gibbons (pictured) is currently director of local delivery at Essex CC and he has previously worked in a number of different roles in both children’s and adult services, mainly in Leicestershire and Milton Keynes.

His appointment follows reports that Bernadette McNally, who had been appointed to the role in August, was “no longer interested in taking up the role”.

In a statement Mr Gibbons said: “I am very honoured to be offered this key post to lead Birmingham children’s social care. This will be a challenge and an opportunity to build more effective social work services that will meet the needs of children and support their families. I am very much looking forward to that challenge and opportunity, working with and building on the progress social work staff have made over the past year.”

Birmingham City Council said Eleni Ioannides will continue interim leadership of the department prior to Mr Gibbons starting his role at the beginning of February.

Asked about Ms McNally’s departure, the council issued a statement that said: “Bernie McNally was appointed as executive director for children’s services and was due to commence formally in post at the beginning of November.

“During the introductory period in October which was arranged in preparation for this, Bernie decided that she was no longer interested in taking up the role, and by mutual agreement will not be proceeding with the appointment.

“This news is disappointing as we thought we had secured an excellent candidate from the first class group of people who applied for the post.”

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