SOUTHAMPTON City Council’s new children’s and learning boss has taken to social media to express his enthusiasm for the top role.

Councillor Alexander Winning is replacing Councillor Darren Paffey as the cabinet member for children and learning.

It is their job to oversee the children’s and learning department of the city council and to head the work in the city to better outcomes in the area.

Cllr Winning said: “Delighted to be confirmed as the cabinet member for Children’s Services and Learning at SCC.

“It’s been a long journey since starting in the post room at SCC as a 16-year-old!

“It’ll be a challenge, but I’m passionate about the service and looking forward to cracking on!”

The department is the most costly to the city council - with social services budgets across Britain overrunning and struggling to keep up with demand.

The city council's budget paper in February said: "Of particular concern going forward is demand within children’s social care, given the experience during 2022/23 of the numbers of children looked after, demand pressures and the costs of residential care and agency staffing to cope with demands faced."

Cllr Paffey also took to social media to talk about his time in the role.

He said: “I’ve made the decision not to put myself forward for cabinet this year, but leave with a great sense of having loved the job of trying to make this a better city for children and young people to grow up in, to be safe, healthy, and achieve their full potential.”

The councillor, who is also the Labour MP candidate for Southampton Itchen, listed the struggles and the high-points of the children’s and learning cabinet members, one of which he spent in opposition.

Cllr Paffey said: “I’ll continue to support and champion our Child Friendly Southampton efforts from the backbenches.”