A council that is failing young people should be stripped of its children’s services, a government report has said.
The report for the Department for Education (DfE) said failures were “systemic and prolonged” and the government should take immediate steps to remove the service from West Sussex.
It recommended a wide-ranging review of the council’s leadership and culture.
Councillors agreed the authority would share its chief executive with East Sussex in a bid to improve services.
Becky Shaw will run both councils from 6 January.
This year, Ofsted said West Sussex County Council (WSCC) children’s services had “widespread and serious weaknesses”.
It said other troubles appeared to be increasing around the council including a partially inadequate fire inspection, concerns about adult social services and “an alarming record of corporate senior management churn”.
In November, WSCC’s previous chief executive, Nathan Elvery, was the second senior figure to leave the authority after a draft of the commissioner’s report was leaked.
Liberal Democrat councillor Dr James Walsh said it was a “damning indictment” of the running of the council as a whole and particularly children’s services, which had left “an unknown number of children badly affected”.
The council’s Conservative leader Paul Marshall said East Sussex would provide “the support and expertise we need to move forward and improve the services we offer”.
WSCC will discuss the commissioner’s report further at a cabinet meeting in January.