"Damaging" reports of weaknesses in Wandsworth Council’s children’s services have led to an overhaul of top tier staff.

Ofsted launched an unannounced inspection of the borough’s children’s services in November and an advance report released to Wandsworth’s scrutiny committee on Thursday revealed key management staff had been moved in order to rectify problems – ahead of the full report’s February publication.

Wandsworth Independent Alliance Councillor Malcolm Grimston has also criticised the ruling Tory’s stance of not letting non-cabinet councillors "in on what the weaknesses" were, making it "impossible for to come to a view as to whether the proposed response is adequate or appropriate".

Dawn Warwick, director of education and children’s services, was due to become the director of education and social services for Wandsworth and Richmond councils under the shared staffing arrangement, announced a year ago.

Now her work will be dedicated to children’s services until March 2017 with a separate post created for director of adult social services.

Cathy Kerr, currently running adult and community services in Richmond Council, will become shared director of adult social services, having agreed to the new role concurrently with her existing job.

According to a report by Wandsworth Council, the post is being created "in order to respond promptly to the weaknesses identified in certain services".

Coun Grimston said that children’s services were subject to an unannounced inspection back in November and that verbal feedback given in December had been "damaging".

He said: "The council leadership must slow down, allow for more input from the council itself and recognise the cliff edge on which many services now find themselves."

Ms Kerr and Mr Warwick will both hold all the powers delegated to the chief executive and all directors.

Wandsworth council will also appoint an interim senior executive, which the report admits could be "costly" and is usually avoided.

A council spokesman said: "Following a recent Ofsted inspection a number of weaknesses have been identified and we are determined to tackle these immediately.

"The Ofsted report has not yet been published but ahead of its publication we are making changes straight away so that there is no delay whatsoever in our efforts to improve performance and raise service standards.

"We will of course take on board and act swiftly and decisively on all the lessons we learn from the report."

Councillor Rex Osborn, Leader of the Wandsworth Labour Group, said that councillors are "in the dark" about what happened.

He said: "Looking after children in care is one of the most important things a council does.

"I'm deeply worried that Wandsworth has been found failing by Ofsted

"The Conservative leadership are trying to sweep the issue under the carpet.

"The Council now has to spend £500,000 just to get the department up to scratch."