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Rotherham to regain further powers

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A range of powers will be returned to Rotherham MBC under proposals outlined by the communities secretary today.

Sajid Javid has backed a phased return of responsibilities including adult social care, economic growth and auditing, in line with recommendations from lead commissioner Sir Derek Myers.

A team of commissioners was sent in by the government in 2015 after a report found the council needed to undergo “fundamental” change in the wake of a child abuse scandal involving 1,400 children in the town.

A number of powers have already been returned to the council from commissioners, including education, housing, democratic services, licensing, and budget planning.

Now Mr Javid has recommended that, as well as responsibility for adult social care, growth, and auditing, powers should be returned over town centre management, regeneration, street cleaning and external partnerships, including with bodies such as the health and wellbeing board and young people’s partnership.

Executive control over children’s services will remain with children’s social care commissioner Patricia Bradwell.

A consultation will now take place ahead of the powers relating to adult social care, economic growth, and auditing, among others, being returned to the council.

Mr Javid said the council had been making “steady progress” and councillors had demonstrated their ability to take on new powers.

He added: “So while I am minded to return these powers to Rotherham, commissioners will stay in place and ensure this transition happens smoothly.”

The government intervention in Rotherham is expected to end on 31 March 2019.

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