BARNSLEY Council’s children’s services boss is to retire and will be replaced by the town’s existing head of children’s social care.

Rachel Dickinson, the outgoing executive director for children’s services, will be replaced by Mel John-Ross, who is currently a service director for children’s social care and safeguarding. Her role oversees both children’s social care and Barnsley Council’s educational responsibilities. Ms John-Ross was announced as Ms Dickinson’s successor at a council scrutiny meeting on Tuesday.

Chief executive Sarah Norman said: “Mel is an excellent appointment as she knows the service. Frontline staff were involved in the recruitment process to gauge how they worked with them.”

The meeting was also told that another executive director, head of core services Andrew Frosdick, was leaving the council but a replacement is yet to be found. Coun Jake Lodge said some staff had been ‘unsettled’ when Ms Norman took over from former Diana Terris, something which the local authority is ‘paying attention to’.

Ms Norman added: “It is something we have to pay attention to in these cases as we don’t have an internal candidate for the executive director of core services post. I have spent a lot of time out and about getting to know people so when the core director starts, we will make sure they do have a similar programme.”