Pie boss in charge of Doncaster's children

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The Independent Online

Fresh light was cast on the structure of Doncaster Council's children's department last night after it emerged that its top boss was a former food factor manager with no relevant experience.

Mark Hodson was an expert in overseeing the production and distribution of pies and other baked treats across the country when the local authority offered him the £103,000 post in its children's department. The 48-year-old was responsible for protecting Doncaster's children from harm for two years from 2005.

It was during his tenure that local parents raised repeated concerns were over the family of two brothers who tortured and two younger boys, leaving them for dead in secluded woodland near the village of Edlington, Doncaster.

At the time of his appointment, a council report praised Mr Hodson for his "leading a portfolio of businesses in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods market".

In the summary of a serious case review, Ofsted inspectors blamed the "chaotic restructuring of the council's children's department" at the time of Mr Hodson's appointment.

The summary stated: "The reorganisation of council services in 2005 caused disruption to the delivery of core statutory services... The lines of accountability were insufficiently clear and robust."

There have been many calls for a full version of the investigation to be made public.

Last night, Mr Hodson told the Sunday Times: "After two years I had an offer from former colleagues to go back into private industry and decided to accept it. I certainly wasn't pushed out and there was no dispute. I left because I wanted to, but I wouldn't have left if I hadn't received the offer from former colleagues."