The Chief Executive of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is to resign following the exposure last month of widespread child abuse in the South Yorkshire town.
Martin Kimber will depart in December after five years in the post. He said:
“I believe that new leadership will enable the town to recover more quickly from the events of the last two weeks, and strongly signal a new beginning at this critical time in its recovery.”
The announcement follows the earlier departure of council leader Roger Stone, who offered his “heartfelt apologies” for the scandal.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright, who led the council’s children’s department between 2005 and 2010, continues, however, to resist calls for his resignation.
The independent report, by former senior social worker Alexis Jay, claimed that around 1.400 girls, some as young as 11, had been groomed, trafficked and sexually abused in the town over a 15 year period by gangs of men with a predominantly Pakistani background.
Authorities repeatedly failed to act, the report states, accusing them of “blatant” collective failures.
However, the council has ruled out disciplinary action against individual employees, saying there is insufficient evidence for individuals to be held accountable.
Meanwhile, South Yorkshire Police has announced its own investigation into its handling of the abuse.
Photo of Rotherham Minster by Chris via Flickr