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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 council is to be stripped of control of its children's services in the wake of Star Hobson's murder. Bradford Council is to be stripped of control of its children's services in the wake of Star Hobson's murder.
The authority's department will instead be operated by a council-owned trust led by an independent board.The authority's department will instead be operated by a council-owned trust led by an independent board.
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. 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 trust's creation follows recommendations by the commissioner to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.The trust's creation follows recommendations by the commissioner to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.
Mr Zahawi said: "Keeping vulnerable children safe from harm is non-negotiable.Mr Zahawi said: "Keeping vulnerable children safe from harm is non-negotiable.
"Where a council is not meeting its duty to do this, we will take action to protect children and put their needs first.""Where a council is not meeting its duty to do this, we will take action to protect children and put their needs first."
'Positive change''Positive change'
He said that it was clear from commissioner Steve Walker's recommendations that council needs support to improve. He said that it was clear from commissioner Steve Walker's recommendations the council needed support to improve.
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."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."
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". Commissioner Mr Walker was appointed by the government in September 2021 over the "slow pace of change" after Ofsted inspectors had said some children remained "at risk of serious harm".
He began his review a year after Star died following months of "neglect, cruelty and injury".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 deathBradford 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.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. Their trial heard of at least five occasions when concerned family members and friends made referrals about Star's treatment to the council's social services department.
She bled to death after suffering "catastrophic" injuries at the hands of Brockhill, her mother's "violent-tempered" girlfriend, at the couple's home in Keighley.
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.