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Goodbye from him and hello from me – new children’s services boss sets out his stall

Goodbye from him and hello from me – new children’s services boss sets out his stall

🕔01.Aug 2013

Birmingham children’s social services employees have received a letter from their new boss which praises former director Peter Duxbury, who left the city council after just 15 months in the job.

Peter Hay, who has been appointed interim strategic director at the Children, Young People and Families Department, said the “vision and direction” set by Mr Duxbury would remain “constant”.

Mr Duxbury, hired to turn around failing services for vulnerable children, left last month by mutual consent. The children’s services section of CYPF has been under Government special measures for four years.

With his letter Mr Hay enclosed a brief note from Mr Duxbury thanking staff for their support and the hard work invested “to make our vision for children a reality”.

Mr Hay has been at the council for 10 years and is strategic director for adults and communities and a former director of children’s social care.

He uses the letter to set out “significant challenges” ahead as children’s services struggles to escape from an Ofsted ‘inadequate’ rating, pointing out that improvements will have to be delivered with less money “in the most difficult of financial circumstances”.

And in a deeply personal message, Mr Hay sets out his own manifesto for social care, stating that he “won’t buy impossible as it’s a vision of hopelessness”.

“I recognise that you are entitled to read this with a feeling of déjà vu. For some of you this city is a tough place to work right now and the last thing you want is a bright new dawn of yet another senior manager.

“It’s not my style to talk about me, but in the light of that recognition I can only lay out what I can bring in my offer to you.

“I will offer what works. A clear vision, focus on delivery and honest dialogue about how we are doing and what we need to do better, in which the people we serve sit at the centre. That is a team effort for all of us, and I will lead in ways that build our collective strength.

“I have had a career working in some tight spots. That has taught me that everything is possible. I don’t and won’t buy ‘impossible’ as it’s a vision of hopelessness.

“It’s my task, with you, to offer ways through the challenges that face us to deliver public services particularly for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“So I don’t buy the argument that Birmingham is too big, complex, or a myriad other excuses for poor service. I get that we face huge challenges. This city is one of the most demanding places to be in public serviced right now. That should invigorate us, not overwhelm us.”

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