Croydon Council needs urgent outside help and expertise to continue to improve its failing children's services - that's the ruling from the Government Children's Minister this week.
This decision was formally taken by Robert Goodwill, minister of state for children and families following September's devastating news that Croydon’s Labour-run Council had failed its OfSTED inspection - judging social services for children to be ‘Inadequate’ across the board.
Croydon Council has been permitted to carry on working to improve its service by the Minister - but that if the Council does not get urgent outside help and expertise to run the service then it may still take over the running of the department.
Cllr Tim Pollard, Croydon Conservative Leader, said: "The letter from the Minister this week was an important milestone on the improvement journey for Croydon Council’s Childrens Services.
"Thanks must go to the dedicated staff who have worked so hard and with such commitment to protect Croydon’s most vulnerable children.
"There is a still a long way to go to for our Labour-run Council to bring the support and protection our vulnerable children and young people up to the level they deserve."
The Commissioner, Eleanor Brazil, drafted in to improve the service, will continue to supervise Croydon Council for a further three months and broker a relationship between Croydon Council and an outside body to rescue the service.
Cllr Maria Gatland, Conservative Education spokesperson, said: “I am pleased that the Government has recognised some progress and that Croydon’s most vulnerable children are receiving a better service than six months ago from the Council.
"It's deeply concerning that the Minister is still not satisfied that Labour can deliver the necessary improvement without some outside help and expertise. I hope a positive partnership can be set up as soon as possible so we can be reassured that Croydon’s children and young people are receiving the best support and protection."
In three months' time another review will be produced, and the Government could still take the social care service away from Croydon Council.