Halton Council has parted ways with the head of its beleaguered children and young people’s services.

The World understands that Milorad Vasic, who was Executive Director of the department, officially left the role on Friday following six years with the council.

The move comes after a troubling three years for the council’s children’s welfare department, which saw government watchdog Ofsted repeatedly order it to improve.

In March 2020 Ofsted found that it required improvement. A subsequent inspection in November 2021 found the situation had  deteriorated, highlighting ‘significant weaknesses’ in social work practice and shortfalls in management oversight and supervision that inspectors said had ‘failed to safeguard and promote children’s welfare’.

But another visit in January this year found things had since improved, some of which it attributed to the coucil’s then recently appointed new chief executive Stephen Young.

Matters took another turn for the worse in February when it was revealed that the Children and Families department had gone £10m over budget, with large sums being spent on temp social workers and on hiring a company called Innovate - which was brought in as consultants after the Ofsted inspection to try and help turn things around.

Halton Council has now confirmed Mr Vasic has left Halton, with the authority saying he had felt it was ‘the right time’ to step down.

In a statement released by the council’s press team, he said: “It’s been my pleasure and privilege to have worked in Halton.

"Although not without its challenges, it has been a rewarding experience and I am proud of the achievements of a dedicated and wonderful workforce that I have been honoured to serve.

"Following the council’s encouraging Ofsted, it is time to pursue new opportunities which will provide a fresh challenge building on my skills, experience and passion for the sector.

"The council is well placed to progress with its transformation journey and I wish the council all the best for the future.”

From today (Monday), the council’s director of adult services Sue Wallace Bonner will also take over the role of Director of Children Services, with an interim replacement due to be appointed 'in the next few weeks'.

The council said the recruitment process will then start to hire a full time permanent replacement, with an appointment being made in the autumn.

Mr Vasic has worked in local government for 24 years. He originally joined Halton as strategic director (people) and was a former director for children and family services at Hull City Council. Before that, he led the same department at Doncaster and Trafford Metropolitan Councils.