The number of vulnerable children missing from Croydon doubled last year, despite extra funding being ploughed into children’s services.

Croydon’s children’s services were put into special measures in 2017 after they were rated inadequate by Ofsted.

The council is investing an extra £17 million into the services – Which is expected to continue in the next financial year.

But at a Scrutiny and Overview meeting, Councillor Andy Stranack wanted to know why so many children are still going missing.

He said: “I can see we are pouring money and resources into the department, what I am concerned about is we are not really seeing the outcomes.

“Let’s look at our most vulnerable children in 2015/16, about 10% of them were going missing each year and in 2017/18 that has risen to about 20%

“So one in five are going missing, the results seem to be going in the wrong direction as we pour money into the service.”

Council leader, Cllr Tony Newman, said that an improvement plan has seen a reduction in the case loads of social workers.

He said: “The case load of the social workers are now dramatically reduced from the unacceptably high levels they were at.

“In terms of some of the other indicators, I don’t want to sound defensive, but it is going to take a little more time to see the other outcomes and performance indicators turn round.

“We are not at a point where I am saying that to you with complete certainty [it will happen] but we are at a point that the oil tanker is emphatically being turned round but we’ve got to get to the new destination.

“We are now seeing clearly emerging evidence of the change but you will still be able to go through the performance indicators and see areas that do need to improve.

“There is a way to go but I think we are now in a position where we can talk about the pace that we can now drive that change rather than question whether it is going to happen.”