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Star Hobson: Bradford Council children's services to be run independently Star Hobson: Bradford Council children's services to be run independently
(32 minutes later)
Star Hobson suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of catastrophic injuries and died in September 2020Star Hobson suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of catastrophic injuries and died in September 2020
Bradford's troubled children's services are to be run independently of the local council, the government has said. Bradford council is to be stripped of control of its children's services in the wake of Star Hobson's murder.
The department will be operated by a trust led by an independent board of directors, but owned by the council. The authority's department will instead be operated by a council-owned trust led by an independent board.
The move comes after the department was rated inadequate by Ofsted in 2018 and in the wake of the Star Hobson case. Ofsted rated children's services as 'inadequate' in 2018 and a commissioner was appointed a year after 16-month-old Star was killed in September 2020.
The council's social services were in contact with the family of 16-month-old Star before she was murdered by her mother's girlfriend. The trust's creation follows recommendations by the commissioner to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.
The decision to set up the trust followed recommendations made to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi by the Children's Services Commissioner in Bradford. Mr Zahawi said: "Keeping vulnerable children safe from harm is non-negotiable.
Bradford children's services was rated inadequate by Ofsted in 2018 "Where a council is not meeting its duty to do this, we will take action to protect children and put their needs first."
Mr Zahawi said in a statement: "Keeping vulnerable children safe from harm is non-negotiable. 'Positive change'
"Where a council is not meeting its duty to do this, we will take action to protect children and put their needs first. He said that it was clear from commissioner Steve Walker's recommendations that council needs support to improve.
"It's clear from the recommendations made by the Commissioner in Bradford that the council needs support to improve and so I'm pleased that Bradford council have agreed to establish a new trust that will bring positive change for the council and independent oversight that drives improvements." Mr Zahawi added: "I'm pleased that Bradford council have agreed to establish a new trust that will bring positive change for the council and independent oversight that drives improvements."
A commissioner was appointed by the government in September 2021 over the "slow pace of change" after Ofsted inspectors had said some children were "at risk of serious harm". Commissioner Mr Walker was appointed by the government in September 2021 over the "slow pace of change" after Ofsted inspectors had said some children were "at risk of serious harm".
He began his review a year after Star died following months of "neglect, cruelty and injury".
Bradford Council was contacted on a number of occasions about the treatment of Star Hobson by Savannah Brockhill (left) and Frankie Smith in the run up to her death
Savannah Brockhill, 28, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years for her murder. Star's mother, Frankie Smith, 20, was sentenced to eight years for causing or allowing her death.
Their trial heard of at least five occasions when concerned family members of people in contact with Star got in touch to report their concerns about her treatment to the council's social services department.
Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe acknowledged the "pace of improvement needs to quicken" but said the trust would "enable us to focus on delivering consistently high quality care to the children of our district".Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe acknowledged the "pace of improvement needs to quicken" but said the trust would "enable us to focus on delivering consistently high quality care to the children of our district".
An delayed independent review examining how the authorities responded to five social services referrals in the months leading to Star's death will be rolled into the national review launched in the wake of the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the government also said.An delayed independent review examining how the authorities responded to five social services referrals in the months leading to Star's death will be rolled into the national review launched in the wake of the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the government also said.
Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk or send video here.Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk or send video here.