Page last updated at 21:34 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Children's services scrutinised

A special "single issue panel" has been set up at Cornwall Council to examine plans to improve the authority's children's services department.

In October 2009 the department was severely criticised by Ofsted inspectors.

It was rated as inadequate and the report stated that children were being left at risk as a result.

The new panel is to scrutinise the council's plans to ensure the necessary improvements are being made.

The Ofsted report said children and young people in care were not properly safeguarded, with the department's leadership singled out for criticism.

'Key role'

Inspectors identified a range of failures in care planning, risk assessment and visits by social workers.

Ofsted also said there was a significant lack of initial emergency placements.

Cornwall Council apologised for the failings, saying it had taken "swift and decisive action" to resolve the problems.

The chairman of the new panel, Chris Rogers, said: "This scrutiny committee has a key role to play in ensuring that the council delivers the recommendations identified in the Ofsted report."

The panel consists of seven councillors supported by senior officers from children's services.

The first meeting - which will be open to the public - is to be held on 3 December and the final report will be published in the new year.

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