Chair of Northants' children's trust RESIGNS after heavy criticism

Ian Curryer was involved in the set up of Nottingham City Council's Robin Hood Energy which has collapsed owing millions to the council.Ian Curryer was involved in the set up of Nottingham City Council's Robin Hood Energy which has collapsed owing millions to the council.
Ian Curryer was involved in the set up of Nottingham City Council's Robin Hood Energy which has collapsed owing millions to the council.
Ian Curryer has handed in his notice following criticism this week by the cabinet at Northamptonshire County Council

The chair of the Northamptonshire children’s trust has resigned.

The Department for Education has confirmed that Ian Curryer has stepped down as chair of the new children’s trust for Northamptonshire.

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His resignation comes after the massive financial collapse last week of the Nottingham City Council energy firm Robin Hood Energy, which Mr Curryer was heavily involved in when he was chief executive. Earlier this week Northamptonshire County Council’s (NCC) Conservative cabinet made a public statement about their concerns about Mr Curryer continuing to be involved with the trust and said he was ‘a risk’.

Mr Curryer was appointed in January by the secretary of state, after an interview panel sat on by Northamptonshire's commissioner Andrew Christie and council leader Matt Golby. He began the role in May.

His resignation comes just eight weeks before the trust is due to launch and is another blow to the organisation which is being set up on government orders after historically poor standards in NCC’s children’s services department.The department is heavily reliant on agency staff due to the poor reputation of the service and it was severely criticised in two serious case reviews into the murders of the Northamptonshire children Evelyn-Rose Muggleton and Dylan Tiffin-Brown.

The DfE said in a statement: “Our focus continues to be ensuring rapid improvement for the children and families of Northamptonshire by establishing a Children’s Trust to deliver improved services on behalf of the council.

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“We have received the resignation from Ian Curryer, Chair for Northamptonshire Children’s Trust and have immediately appointed Clare Chamberlain CBE as interim Chair. We will be carrying out an open recruitment exercise for the permanent appointment of a new Chair imminently.”

Clare Chamberlain is currently deputy children’s commissioner for Northamptonshire.

The trust is already behind schedule and does not have a permanent chief executive and is now without a chair. Northamptonshire Children’s commissioner Andrew Christie said on his appointment last November that his first and most critical job was to get the trust right and the correct chair and chief executive in place.

The trust currently has an interim chief executive in Clive Heaphy and is yet to appoint a permanent person to take care of day-to-day operations.

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Negotiations are taking place between senior bosses of the county council and trust staff to get a contract in place to run the services. The current budget for children’s services is £127m.

The council’s chief executive Theresa Grant has said the contract will come back to scrutiny for a review before it is finally agreed.A message from the Editor:

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