The deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council has insisted that her new position as Commissioner for children’s social care at Rotherham Council will not negatively affect her role at the authority.
Councillor Patricia Bradwell has been appointed as the Children’s Social Care Commissioner in Rotherham by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
She will replace Commissioner Malcolm Newsam, who is leaving after completing 18 months in the role.
Councillor Bradwell has reassured residents that her new position will not impact on her roles on Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive, where she has responsibilities for adult care, health services and children’s services.
She said: “In my role as Commissioner, I’ll be working closely with Debbie Barnes, Director of Children’s Services in Lincolnshire, to support and maintain improvements in children’s social care for Rotherham district.
“This won’t affect my roles in Lincolnshire – I’ll continue as deputy leader and executive councillor for children’s services, adult care and health services and ensure children and families continue to get good, effective support.
I’m delighted the government have recognised that Lincolnshire children’s services are some of the best in the country which is why I have been asked to take up this position with Rotherham.
The South Yorkshire town has been in the headlines for widespread organised child exploitation and abuse between 1997 and 2013, with many of the perpetrators coming from the Muslim community.
Back in 2010, five men of Pakistani heritage were found guilty of a series of sexual offences against girls as young as 12 in the town.
A subsequent investigation by national newspaper The Times reported that the child sex exploitation was far more rampant than anyone ever imagined, and the Home Affairs Select Committee criticised South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for their handling of the abuse.
Lead Commissioner Sir Derek Myers said: “We are pleased to have Commissioner Patricia Bradwell in place and we will work together to continue to build on the work we are doing here at Rotherham Council.”