Cuts Watch #248: Cuts in children’s services continue
Children and Young People Now report that cuts in Sheffield ‘Will harm the most vulnerable’. At Sheffield Futures, which provides the youth service and Connexions service for Sheffield City Council, ninety-five out of 360 jobs are at risk. In August, the City Council announced a package of cuts resulting in over £2m being taken from this year’s staffing budget.
One casualty of the cuts is the city-wide Learning Difficulties and Disability Team, which organises specialist youth clubs, holiday schemes and residentials for young disabled people as well as offering them advice, guidance and support on leaving school and college.
Nicola Straw, speaking on behalf of her disabled son Nathan, said: “The project had been a godsend for him and central to his life’s achievements. He just wouldn’t survive in a regular local youth club, the impact on him will be devastating. These people in charge don’t understand the damage they do. They always attack those least able to speak up for themselves. No one has consulted disabled people and their families about this. If they did, they might learn a thing or two.”
Children’s services in Cumbria also face multi-million-pound cuts as the council loses money from government grants – Children and Young People Now report that revenue and capital grants expected by the council this year have been slashed by £7.93m.
A £3.1m reduction in Cumbria’s area-based grant for children’s services means there will have to be funding reductions in the way the council supports schools in areas such as under-attainment, attendance, healthy eating, extended services and travelling to school initiatives.
In addition to the £7.93m grant reductions, there have been a number of funding decisions affecting Cumbria, including the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme which would have brought £62m worth of investment into secondary education in West Cumbria.