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New head of children’s services appointed at Bury Council

Sheila Durr has been appointed to one of the most important positions at Bury Council as executive director for children and young people.

The council boss was responsible for the humanitarian response to the Grenfell disaster has been appointed to a top job at Bury Council

She will have overall responsibility for the borough’s schools, early years provision, children’s social services and child safeguarding.

Sheila brings to Bury a wealth of experience in local government management and leadership, notably at the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Hackney.

Sheila Durr, Bury’s new executive director for children and young people.

She has successfully led multi-professional teams developing effective strategies and partnerships with a focus on prevention, recovery and family and community resilience. She is proud to be a social worker who believes, from personal and professional experience, in the benefits of continuous learning for children, families and communities.

“I’m excited to be taking on the challenge of leading children’s services for Bury at a time when children and families are in need of more support than ever,” she said. “I know I am joining a great team as well as a strong partnership of education, health and community and voluntary organisations.”

Sheila is originally from the North West and began work on the frontline of children and families social work in 1993, working for a number of authorities in the capital. She was child protection co-ordinator in Islington and at Tower Hamlets was responsible for the integration of health and social care for disabled children. She moved to Hackney where she headed up children and young people’s services across all the key areas of safeguarding, children in care and care leavers, youth services, youth offending and early help, also establishing and chairing the London Adoption Board. At Kensington and Chelsea she was director of communities and people, leading the humanitarian response to the Grenfell disaster, and has most recently been a consultant for Surrey County Council working on their special educational needs provision.

Councillor Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for children’s services, young people and skills, said: “Sheila is passionate about transforming the life chances of young people, and brings a huge range of skills and experience to Bury. I look forward to working with her to ensure that all our young people are given the best opportunities to fulfil their potential and ambitions.”

Sheila takes up her position on 30 September following the retirement of Karen Dolton, who has led the department for three years.

Geoff Little, chief executive of Bury Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome Sheila to the team. She has extensive experience in a wide range of children’s services, which will be invaluable as we continue to respond to the coronavirus crisis and ensure that all our young people are looked after and educated.”

He added: “I would like to thank Karen Dolton for her sterling work in leading the department and wish her well for the future on her retirement.”

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