WIRRAL Council has appointed a new director for its children's services department.

Paul Boyce, currently executive director for children at Knowsley Council, brings a wealth of experience in leading high quality services for children and is ready for the new challenge.

He led the improvement in children’s services at Knowsley, Cheshire West & Chester and Halton Councils, improving the services and Ofsted rating in each area, cementing his position as one of the most sought-after leaders in the UK within children's services, and will start work in Wirral in December.

Mr Boyce said: "I am delighted to be joining Wirral, and looking forward to getting started.

"Children's services have been through a difficult time here.

"I do not underestimate the challenges we face, but I know we have the opportunity and the support to deliver rapid improvements.

"Throughout my career I have been able to improve services, improve social work practice and motivate staff to deliver what we are all here for: keeping children safe.

"Many changes have already been put in place in Wirral – a new senior management team, new political leadership, a whole range of service improvements and redesigns.

"They are all already having an impact on the quality of service children can benefit from.

"I am incredibly excited to have the chance to continue this good work, and make sure children in Wirral can enjoy the first-rate services they deserve."

Welcoming the news of Mr Boyce's appointment, Cllr Bernie Mooney, cabinet member for children’s services, said: "Paul is an excellent appointment.

"We said we wanted an outstanding candidate and that is exactly what we have.

"Everywhere he has worked he has driven major improvements; he is a champion for children and has worked tirelessly to provide excellent services to keep the most vulnerable young people safe.

"In the past few months our children's services have really quickened the pace of improvement, and for that I want to pay tribute to our interim director – Deborah Gornik, who has done an incredible job while holding the fort.

"I am seeing examples every day of the work getting better and I am also seeing the impact on young people's lives.

"After a really tough few months, it is so heartening to see the work beginning to pay off.

"Getting someone of Paul’s calibre – he has a national reputation as a leader in this field – to come to Wirral and help us improve even further is a real coup for us.

"I know he will hit the ground running and very quickly deliver the excellent children’s services we all want for our young people and families."