A BOROUGH'S £1million action plan to improve a borough's children's services department will face three-pronged local scrutiny.

In April government inspectors from Ofsted downgraded Blackburn with Darwen Council's key provision for vulnerable young people to 'requires improvement'.

Now the Labour leader of the authority Cllr Phil Riley and his Conservative opposition counterpart Cllr John Slater had pledged to keep a close eye on its progress.

The drive to upgrade standards will be masterminded by a new independently-chaired ‘Achieving Excellence’ board focussing on the lived experiences of children and young people and the feedback from the workforce is captured.

The action plan will target three main areas; multi-agency strategy discussions; data and assurance, and our services and support for care leavers up to the age of 25.

As Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board approved the project it's children's boss Cllr Julie Gunn promised she and her senior management team would be constantly monitoring its progress and effectiveness.

Cllr Slater told her: "This is a very important project.

"We hope it works well.

"We will be keeping a close eye on it and hope it is enough

"If it isn't there will be more questions about what has happened."

Cllr Riley said: "John, if this doesn't get where it's going to, you will not be the only one asking questions."