Norfolk: Children's Services Boss Steps Down After MPs Pressure

21 June 2013, 12:25 | Updated: 21 June 2013, 12:36

The boss of Children's Services in Norfolk has stepped down after calls from MPs for her to quit.

Nine MPs asked for a change in leadership in the county after an Ofsted report found services here were patchy and inconsistent.

Lisa Christensen had been in the role since 2005.

In a statement she told Heart:"Lisa Christensen said: “It has been a privilege to have worked in Norfolk for nearly 11 years through a period marked by fundamental and continuing policy changes and increasing financial stringency for the public sector. I have been proud, and lucky, to have worked alongside colleagues in the County Council and throughout the public and voluntary sectors in Norfolk, and nationally, whose dedication to achieving better outcomes for children and young people is evident every day."

Others at Norfolk County Council has criticised MPs for calling for the resignation.

Councillor James Joyce, Children’s Services Cabinet Member for Safeguarding said:“I respect Lisa’s decision and think it is the right one, especially in light of the very personalised attacks made on her of late, and for the service going forward.

"We made it a priority to review matters quietly, but effectively since we took office, ensuring a robust improvement plan was put in place. Norfolk’s MPs were aware of this and that is why we felt their sudden grandstanding was not just unhelpful, but irresponsible."

Ms Christensen is leaving with a £140,00 pay-off - most of that money is going straight into a pension pot.

Norfolk County Council told Heart: "Ms Christensen is 56-years-old. By agreement, Ms Christensen is taking early retirement and will receive only her contractual entitlement. She will receive two months’ gross salary in lieu of notice (£23,248)."

"In addition, the Authority will make a one off compensatory payment to the Norfolk Pension Fund of £116,398."