April the 1st is synonymous for a very good reason, its usually the day we all play a few pranks on our best friend. However, in Torbay it will also mark the start of a new contractual agreement between Torbay and Plymouth Council Children Services.
This exciting opportunity came about following the appointment of Commissioner, John Coughlan, that recommended that Plymouth be the preferred partner to lead on the improvement of Torbay’s Children Services.
It is thought that John Coughlan will continue in his role as Commissioner.
A new joint director position was available and quickly filled by Alison Botham who brings over 30 years of experience in the delivery, management and leadership of public services.
The new joint director of Children’s Services will have the responsibility of working closely with the current Director of Children’s Services in Torbay, who will lead the service through an inspection which is thought to be carried out later this year.
Speaking at the announcement of the new contract, Chief Executive at Plymouth City Council said:
I’m extremely proud that Plymouth will be supporting our colleagues in Torbay. I know that we are in a strong position to provide management leadership on the next stage of Torbay’s improvement in Children’s Services, as we have faced similar challenges ourselves in the past
Back in Torbay, Councillor Julien Parrot, Executive Lead for Adults and Children from Torbay Council said:
This arrangement with Plymouth is an exciting new era for both us and Plymouth. It is a great example of sector led improvement with two authorities working together to improve outcomes for our children and young people
Staff that are currently employed in Plymouth will continue to work with the city’s children, young people and families whilst those employed in Torbay will continue their work with families, children and young people in Torbay.
What does this mean for me?
It would appear that if you are currently in receipt of support and help from Torbay or Plymouth City Councils Children services team that it is unlikely to cause any disruption.
The newly appointed joint director of the two services will report to both Torbay and Plymouth City Council’s as well as Chief Executives and politicians.