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Troubled borough appoints interim chief

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South Ribble BC has appointed an interim chief executive – just days after a scrutiny report found “a major corporate governance failure” in the way the council handled allegations concerning child sexual exploitation by licenced taxi drivers.

Jean Hunter, who stepped down as South Cambridgeshire DC’s chief executive last month, has been appointed to the role.

She said her top priority was to “get to the bottom of any instances when the council hasn’t lived up to the high standards…and put things right”.

LGC reported on Wednesday how the council’s scrutiny report highlighted “weak political and senior management leadership” behind allegations concerning child sex exploitation by licenced taxi drivers and the way these were investigated.

The council has suffered political turmoil as a result of the events, though it now has a new leader Peter Mullineaux (Con).

Ms Hunter, who was South Ribble’s chief executive between 2000 and 2010, said: “My priority is to get to the bottom of any instances when the council hasn’t lived up to the high standards that residents rightly expect, and put things right. I have been brought in as interim chief executive to deliver, and I will deliver. I will restore the reputation of this council for providing first class services to its residents.”

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