THE chief executive of a council that failed to protect at least 1,400 children from sexual abuse began his career in Hartlepool.
Martin Kimber has agreed to step down as the most senior officer of Rotherham Council following a report that exposed the scale of child sexual exploitation in the town.
It has emerged that Mr Kimber grew up in Hartlepool and worked for Hartlepool Borough Council in the 1970s.
In an interview in March with the local authority webiste the Municipal Journal, he told how he joined the Hartlepool authority in 1974 as a trainee planning assistant.
The son of army parents Mr Kimber grew up in Hartlepool and is believed to have lived at Owton Manor.
He spent three years with Hartlepool council before moving on to Barnsley and Wigan local authorities.
He joined the Rotherham authority in 2009.
A report published last month said at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited from 1997-2013, mainly by men of Pakistani heritage.
It said there had been “blatant” collective failures by the council’s leadership and other agencies which ignored abuse reports over fears of being labelled racist.
Following the criticism and calls to quit, Mr Kimber announced on Monday that he is to leave his post in December.
He apologised and said in a statement: “The report does not make comfortable reading in its account of the horrific experiences of some young people in the past, and I would like to reiterate my sincere apology to those who were let down when they needed help.
“The events of the past fortnight will again have been an incredibly traumatic time for them and their families, and have shaken the town as a whole.
“The council has now decided what it must do to give the best possible protection for the children and young people of Rotherham.
“The time is therefore now right for me to leave.”