Council man off to Whitehall job; CHALLENGE: New post for man who fixed city's social services.
THE MAN who turned around Coventry social services is going off to a top new job in Whitehall.
John Bolton is going to be the Department of Health's first-ever strategic finance director for social care.
He'll be helping to draw up the next round of three-year public spending plans for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Mr Brown said in his party conference speech in Bournemouth that social care was one of six areas needing review.
Mr Bolton, aged 57, will leave his pounds 118,000-a-year post as director of community services at Coventry City Council in December.
He'll then start the new job in January. He lives in Coventry with his wife and family and intends to commute between the city and London.
Mr Bolton said his job would include working out the best ways of looking after the growing number of elderly people in the country.
He'll be looking at three options which are already being drawn up by a group of influential organisations, including Age Concern and The Kings Fund, which looks at research into health policy.
Mr Bolton said: "I've really always been interested in the way money is used in social care, where we can be more efficient and where social care is under-funded.
"Probably the most important issue facing social care is getting the funding right - any social services director, manager, or councillor will tell you that. I'd like to contribute and make a difference."
He doesn't shy away from challenges - when he came to Coventry in 2002 the city council's social services were rated among the worst in the country. They had a zero-star rating.
He turned them round - in the process unpicking the council's complicated budgets to uncover exactly where money was spent in social services.
He previously held a top post at the Audit Commission. As director of its joint review group, he was responsible for 70 reviews of whether individual councils offered value for money in their social services departments.
NEW JOB... John Bolton is taking up a new job in Whitehall.