Social services chief to leave Oldham Council

Oldham Council’s social services boss Veronica Jackson, is to retire in February after seven years with the council.

The news came as Ofsted announced that the council’s children’s services – one of the areas for which she is responsible – has been rated ‘ excellent’, the highest possible rating, by independent inspectors – but also at the same time as her department is facing the brunt of the huge budget cuts the council is making.

Veronica was appointed executive director of social services in July 2003, and became executive director of adult and community services in April 2006. She took up her present post as executive director of people, communities and society in January 2009.

This post covers adult and children’s social care, education, neighbourhood working, leisure, community safety and culture. She is responsible for a budget of £129 million pounds and a staff of over 2,500 people across a directorate which provides a ‘cradle to grave’ service for the people of Oldham.

In recent years she has been a leader in the team responsible for the delivery of the Building Schools for the Future and Academies programme for Oldham.

Veronica said: “I’ve loved my time with Oldham Council and found the job itself, through both the lows and the highs, to be tremendously challenging and fascinating.”

“I’ve always believed that we can transform people’s lives with the work we do, and I’ll miss working with colleagues dedicated to that end. Most of all though, I’ll miss the great people of Oldham; it’s been a privilege and an honour to serve them.”

Howard Sykes, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Veronica has been a great ambassador for Oldham.”

“She has made a difference not just to the borough but nationally through her pioneering work on giving people control of their own individual care budgets – something that has promoted greater independence and choice.

“Veronica is a great example of a person dedicated to public service. Her commitment to Oldham and the positive impact she has made upon the Borough has helped the lives of many of the more vulnerable members of our communities.

“She has also given tirelessly to the wider agenda for social services and championed the case for the public sector working more closely together. She leaves a lasting legacy and I wish her well for the future.”