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New Man In Charge of Protecting Children in York

Simon Westwood 171312

7:36pm 17th December 2013

York has appointed a new Independent Chair of the city’s Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Simon Westwood will take up the role – one of the most important in the city – in January, chairing the body responsible for ensuring that York agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

Simon has extensive experience of children’s safeguarding having previously held the post of Assistant Director in Bedford Borough Council’s Children’s Services team. He will continue to work as an Independent Children’s Services Improvement Consultant, providing support and challenge to local authorities and their partners to improve services for children, whilst chairing York’s Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, who has responsibility for the work of the Safeguarding Board, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to recruit someone of Simon’s calibre to this vital role. He brings with him a wealth of experience and I’m looking forward to utilising his knowledge of best practice in other agencies and authorities to support and challenge our work in York.”

Simon Westwood, Independent Chair of the City of York Safeguarding Children Board, said: “York is a vibrant, caring city I am really looking forward to working with all partners involved with the York Safeguarding Children Board to build on the firm foundations put in place in recent years to ensure the safety of all children.  The best way to protect children and young people is to ensure they are not living in poverty, are loved, cared for and given opportunities to learn and grow their aspirations. Most children in York have that opportunity.

“For those that do not we need to make sure that we provide early help, when it is needed. Even in the current economic climate resources to protect children must be given the highest priority.”

The public and all agencies must all be vigilant to identify those who they believe pose a threat of harm to children and young people and share information to ensure we have the best possible chance of minimising those risks."

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