In order to facilitate the Board’s work Ministers have also decided to extend the direction issued to the Council. The Ministers plan a further statement in January.
This week Estyn published its inspection report on education services and the Wales Audit Office has published its special inspection report on the way the Council implements safeguarding arrangements.
Both reports are consistent in their findings on a number of issues and contain serious criticism of the performance of Pembrokeshire County Council.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews said:
“These reports give clear continued cause for concern highlighting that Pembrokeshire Council’s deficiencies are putting services in the local authority at unacceptable risk. If the Council cannot address these issues, then we will.
“Given the unacceptable nature of the situation our priority must be to put in place adequate support and challenge to realise improvements as quickly as possible. This must address the wider issues and improve the corporate position of the authority. It will also need to ensure that improvements and changes being introduced in relation to safeguarding and educational outcomes for children and young people are implemented quickly and have a real impact on the ground.”
Minister for Local Government and Communities Carl Sargeant:
“We will be working closely together over the coming weeks to consider our response to the serious issues in these reports and we will have further discussions with the Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services.
“We will of course finalise our proposed arrangements as quickly as possible, and ensure that necessary action is taken urgently."