Communities secretary Sajid Javid has announced he is “minded to” return more powers to Rotherham MBC following recommendations from commissioners at the council.
Rotherham has been subject to government intervention since February 2015, after a report found the council needed to undergo “fundamental change” in the wake of a child sexual exploitation scandal involving 1,400 children in the town.
In a written statement, Mr Javid said lead commissioner Mary Ney (pictured) had in May presented “robust evidence” to support her recommendation that Rotherham takes back power overs performance management, human resources, community safety including cohesion and domestic violence, asset management and waste collection.
If the powers are returned, commissioners would retain “enhanced oversight” over support for victims of domestic violence and the power to veto cabinet decisions in this area.
Mr Javid said his officials had written to the council to say he was “satisfied” the council could now carry out its duties in these areas. He said he was “minded to” follow these recommendations but would “seek representations [from the council] before making a final decision”.
This package of powers would be the fourth tranche returned to Rotherham since the intervention began. If the powers are returned, commissioners will still have executive decision making power over the council’s children’s services, special allowances, and the appointment and dismissal of any statutory officers. They will also continue to have oversight over all returned functions.
In February this year, Mr Javid announced the government would return powers over adult social care, economic growth and auditing to the council.