A NEW council company created to run children's services in Worcestershire should be up and running by October next year, after plans were approved by cabinet.

The company will be called 'Worcestershire Children First' and it will be a private company limited by guarantee (CLG).

This means it will be non-profit but not subject to an 'asset lock' so assets moved from the council to the new company could be moved back if required.

Original plans said the company would go live on April 1 next year but that date has been moved back to October - a move that Worcestershire County councillors all agreed was sensible.

County Hall has received £3.15 million from the Department for Education to set up the new children's services company.

Cllr Marcus Hart, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “I think the name Worcestershire Children First does exactly what it says on the tin.

“It is vital that we put them first and they are at the heart of all our thinking."

Cllr Fran Oborski said: “I am glad that the type of company would allow for services to be transferred back to the council in the future.

“That is really important.”

She also said it was “ironic” that the council would most likely be handing over an improved children’s services to the new company when it goes live.

She said: “I am sad that we are having to do this and it is ironic that we are probably going to be ‘good’ by the time we get there."

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for children and families, said the move could be possible by April 1 but he would be “extremely concerned” if it started early.

“It is a risk to our improvement plan and it is a risk to our progress,” he said.