Somerset County Council axe its Director of Children’s Services

Somerset County Council (SCC) has announced it has terminated its contract with interim Director of Children’s Services Peter Lewis due to a ‘series of disappointing reports’.

The news comes as calls grew for SCC to justify why they were spending more than £300,000 on Mr Lewis’s wages.

Mr Lewis was hired 18 months ago after a negative Ofsted report about children’s services at the council.

In a statement from SCC Chief Executive, Patrick Flaherty, said: ” Somerset County Council has announced that Peter Lewis, Interim Director of Children’s Services (DCS), is no longer working for the authority.

“The decision follows recent announcements that we are closing two Children’s Homes due to failings in the standards of care provided, poor management and safeguarding issues. Preliminary findings from an Ofsted inspection into Children’s Centres in Taunton are also disappointing and likely to result in an “inadequate” rating.

“I believe now is the time to be decisive, move forward and give fresh impetus to improvements to the support we give to vulnerable children.”

Mr Lewis will leave the council immediately and as he is not an employee of the council, there will be no pay-off and no pension payments.