Secretary of State confirms return of further powers to Rotherham
Published on Tuesday, 21st March 2017 in Council and democracy news
Rotherham Council has welcomed today’s (21 March 2017) confirmation, by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, of further return of powers by the Government.
Mr Javid has confirmed the return powers for services including economic growth, town centre management, and the maintenance of local parks, to the authority with immediate effect - a move which brings the majority of services back under the council’s democratic control.
Decision-making powers for adult social care will also be returned to Rotherham councillors – but as work to modernise these services is underway, Commissioners will continue to have additional oversight.
The announcement comes following the submission of further evidence from Lead Commissioner Sir Derek Myers as the council marks two years of its intervention and subsequent improvement journey.
Lead Commissioner Sir Derek said: "We have continued to see sustained improvements to services since the first tranche of powers were returned to the council last year. We have a stable and hardworking Cabinet, an established senior management team and along with committed staff, elected members and partners, have worked together to make sure the Council continues to demonstrate it is ready to resume more responsibility.
“Commissioners still have retention of some powers, including children’s social care and community safety”.
This follows the return of licensing powers to the council in December 2016, on top of around a third of services having been handed back in February 2016.
The Government-appointed Commissioners have been given until March 2019 to improve and hand back all services.
Sir Derek also confirmed next steps for the Commissioners at this two year milestone: “As I step down from my role at the end of the month, Lead Commissioner Mary Ney will review progress on those remaining functions before making any further recommendations for return. I am grateful to officers and elected members for their continued hard work and support to Commissioners as we strive to finish the work we started and restore full confidence to the Council.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Read added: "Today’s announcement reflects the significant improvements which we have collectively worked hard to achieve across the council.
“As he leaves his time with the council, we thank Sir Derek Myers for his work in helping to turn the council around and I repeat my commitment to ensure the council further improves, so that it can better serve Rotherham residents.”
The full Directions issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Council can be found at the Government website