New boss for department which looks after Sunderland's vulnerable adults

Sir Paul Ennals.
Sir Paul Ennals.

A new chairman has been put in charge of a department charged with looking after Sunderland's most vulnerable adults.

Sir Paul Ennals has been appointed as the new independent chair of Sunderland City Council's safeguarding board for adults.

He is already the chair of the Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board, and will now also work together with partner agencies across the city to safeguard adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

Sir Paul said: "Sunderland has a strong track record of partnership working.

"I am looking forward to working with city, regional and national representatives to ensure all our practices for people who are vulnerable and at risk are as robust and resilient as they can be.

"Safeguarding is everyone’s business, and I will seek to harness the abilities and skills of the whole community to keep people safe in Sunderland."

Sir Paul - who will take up his new position on Tuesday, May 1 - is a previous chief executive of the National Children's Bureau and chair of the Children's Workforce Development Council.

He is currently the chair of the safeguarding boards for children and for adults in South Tyneside and Gateshead.

The Whitley Bay resident also chairs the strategic group for Fulfilling Lives in Newcastle and Gateshead, and has worked with previous governments on developing national policy for children and for vulnerable adults, advising the Department of Health, Department for Education and the Treasury.

Fiona Brown, executive director of people services at Sunderland City Council, said: "We are delighted that Sir Paul is joining us.

"He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and has an excellent reputation nationally."

The department encourages effective joint working between agencies, and holds all partners to account for their work in keeping adults safe.

During his career, Sir Paul has worked extensively with disability organisations, promoting employment and independent living opportunities for adults with a range of disabilities.

He was awarded a CBE for services to children with special educational needs in January 2002 and was knighted for services to children in June 2009.