Children's services in the county have this week been judged inadequate by government inspectors - placing care provisions in Buckinghamshire alongside scandal-hit Rotherham.

Buckinghamshire County Council was one of seven local authorities in Britain to be named as inadequate by Ofsted on Tuesday.

Hours after the announcement, the council's chief executive Chris Williams revealed at a County Hall meeting that independent advisors had recommended he should step down from his role as chairman of the authority's improvement board.

An Ofsted report published on Tuesday judged Bucks as inadequate alongside the councils in Birmingham, Coventry, Knowsley, Manchester and Slough - along with Rotherham, where an estimated 1,400 children were found to be the victims of sexual abuse over a period of nearly 20 years.

Ofsted said common problems for the failing authorities included "instability in leadership and workforce, with high staff turnover and vacancy rates", a failure to pay "enough attention to the quality of practice and the needs of children" and "little evidence of decisive action to keep children and young people safe".

Mr Williams said during the Education, Skills and Children’s Services Select Committee meeting the council had been "named and shamed as one of the seven worst authorities" for children's services.

He said: "I have known for some time we needed to significantly improve children's services and was making steps to do that prior to Ofsted coming in.

"The Ofsted report was a bit of a shock - I didn't realise it was quite as bad as it was. The steps we'd taken to start to address these issues were beginning to take effect - it's unfortunate Ofsted came too soon to see any real effect."

An independent report produced by Red Quadrant, advisors to the Secretary of State for Education, highlighted the council's poor quality of producing case notes and files and the speed of carrying out assessments as areas of major concern.

Red Quadrant recommended Mr Williams relinquished his role as chairman of the improvement board.

He told the meeting: "It's right we look for an independent chairman of the board, so that person can hold myself, my colleagues and our partners to account."

Mr Williams added: "Whilst the report is critical - and particularly critical of me and my leadership and chairmanship of the improvement board up to a point - it now thinks the pace has picked up and we are now on track to deliver the improvements necessary."

Cllr Phil Gomm said during the meeting: "I want to know why this council at select committee has never brought this up before, to challenge the officers that could have prevented where we are today.

"It's children's safety - it should never have been allowed to get this far."

Mr Williams said "a number of issues" had previously been raised at full council meetings.