The Aylesbury Labour Party have joined with other Bucks Labour Parties and other campaigners to object to the Bucks County Council plan to close children's centres across Bucks.
24/09/2017 - The letter below has been sent to Cllr Whyte, due to him having been on vacation we await a reply.
Dear Councillor Whyte
Re: Consultation on “Improving early help services for children, young people and families”
I am writing to express Aylesbury Labour Party’s concerns regarding the proposals published by Bucks County Council on “Improving early help services for children, young people and families”.
Aylesbury Labour believes the impact of these proposals will fall disproportionately on women and ethnic minorities and would like to see the equalities impact assessment. We are also surprised and concerned at the lack of substantive details of the proposed re-organisation that will affect many thousands of vulnerable children and young people.
At a time of great austerity in the country, with more and more children and young people living with poverty, inadequate mental and physical health care and homelessness, Aylesbury Labour has many questions it would like answered before these proposals are considered further.
In particular, we are opposed to the following proposals:
- to push responsibility for supporting vulnerable children and young people even further onto the children and young people themselves and onto their families and the communities;
- to make further cuts to the services to vulnerable children and young people;
- to carry out confidential and often distressing conversations with vulnerable children and young people and their families in public places – we believe this could be disrespectful, unprofessional and, in some cases, might be illegal; and
- to contract out these services rather than keeping them or bringing them back in-house, when experience shows that contracting out such work leads to it being carried out by inexperienced, unqualified and under-paid staff – resulting in poor continuity and inadequate services while prioritising profits for senior managers and shareholders.
Three years ago, BCC’s Children’s Services were assessed as “inadequate”. Now, after what BCC describes as “steady progress and considerable hard work”, the services still “require improvement”. With this track record, how is it possible for BCC to carry out this proposed major re-organisation of services for children, young people and families in just six months? We believe this timescale (i.e. by spring 2018) is unrealistic and puts services to vulnerable children and young people at risk.
Aylesbury Labour believes that BCC should pursue a more considered and professional approach. To this end, we would ask that more detailed and substantive proposals are provided as quickly as possible in a clear, transparent and accessible way.
Chair, Aylesbury Labour Party
There is further information on this issue at:
More to come, check back for updates...