Young people in Northampton staged a fantastic march through the town centre today protesting against the destruction being wreaked by climate change.
They were joined by Sally Keeble and activists from across the Labour Party environmental movement. The event was organised by three school students who spoke on the steps of All Saints Church about the crisis facing the planet – and the catastrophe we face if governments don’t act now to stop global warming.
SALLY SPEAKS OUT ON IMPACT OF CUTS IN CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Sally Keeble, Labour’s candidate in Northampton North has called for Northamptonshire County Council to reverse its cuts in children’s service and overhaul its approach to the service.
Her call came at the County Council’s cabinet meeting today after a series of cases affecting vulnerable children in the town including:
• Warnings that went unheeded of the danger posed by a man who was father to three children – one of whom he killed.
• A young boy who left without a school place for almost a year despite repeated requests from his carer.
• A young mother left sofa surfing with her baby after being chased out of her council flat by intruders.
• A mother who lost her temporary accommodation being sectioned and separated from her young baby although her problem was that she was homeless
Northamptonshire’s latest financial monitor showed an underspend in children’s services of £2.1 million. Sally Keeble said: “The County Council’s spending cuts have had disastrous consequences for some of the most vulnerable children. The cuts in children’s services have been so severe that they’re now projecting an underspend. The Council is balancing its books on these vulnerable children. It needs to restore the missing millions to the children’s services budget.
“But it’s not just about money. There’s also the need for a complete culture change so that children and their mothers and carers are heard.”
The County Council, which ran into financial chaos, has also had a government commissioner sent in after a devastatingly critical official inspection. It recently appointed a children’s services director on a salary of £258,000, a higher salary than the council’s chief executive.
Labour protests at big Council Tax increases
Sally Keeble says the Tories are making council tax payers pay the high costs of Tory incompetence at County Hall.
The average Northampton North council tax payer has an extra £94 on their council tax bills which are presently going out to every householder in the county.
Much of the increase is down to the failure of the Tories in Northamptonshire to manage the County Council, leading to effective bankruptcy of the council and huge service cuts.
Sally Keeble said: “People are facing council tax increases well above the rate of inflation. So their bills are going up But services are going down. It will put financial pressure on everyone, and also mean that services for the most vulnerable people in our community will be cut.”
SALLY CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE BEREAVED AND DISABLED
Sally Keeble has called for improvements to Universal Credit – especially to help people who have been bereaved or have disabilities.
And she’s also called for more funds for advice services to help people find their way through the system, and more training for advisers.
She’s asked a Labour member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee to take up the issues for her. You can read more about it here.
VICTORY FOR ROAD-GRITTING CAMPAIGN
Great to hear from The Chron tonight that normal road-gritting services are to be restored.
This came after Sally Keeble sent in petitions from The Headlands, Birchfield Road East, Spinney Hill Road, Acre Lane and Churchill Avenue protesting that these and other key roads in Northampton North had been dropped from the list for routine gritting.
Such a victory for people power.
Thanks to everyone who signed the petitions.
In the pic below Sally and a local Labour campaigner are out in Acre Lane with the gritting petition.
SALLY CALLS FOR ACTION ON HIDDEN HOMELESS
Congratulations to BBC Radio Northampton on a powerful special programme on homelessness in Northampton.
Sally has been campaigning to support the Hope Centre which provides services for people sleeping rough on the streets. Now she’s calling for more action for the hidden homeless and especially the families sofa-surfing or in hostels and similar temporary accommodation in town.
You can read more about it here.
THERESA MAY BREXIT DEAL COMES IN BOTTOM IN LOCAL SURVEY
Theresa May’s deal emerged as the loser in the survey of local opinion on the way forward for Brexit.
It got only 20% of the vote, compared with 42% for leaving with no deal and 28% for delaying or cancelling Brexit. Holding a second, people’s, vote was the preferred with forward for 25 per cent of the people who sent back survey forms delivered to parts of Boothville, Kingsthorpe and Spring Park.
Sally Keeble says: “This shows the disaster of Theresa May’s deal. She’s had two and a half years to build a consensus. But instead she’s produced a terrible deal that has left the country as divided as ever.”
You can read more on this here
Labour leaders call for Government action to plug £133 million council budget hole
Labour leaders in Northamptonshire’s have put an action package to Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP to deal with the budget crisis at County Hall.
“We believe that the inability of the Conservative administration to manage the finances or services poses acute risks to the most vulnerable people in Northamptonshire,” they warn in a joint letter to the Government.
They criticise the continuing disarray in the Council’s Conservative administration, and ask for the Government to:
- Pay the cost of reorganisation
- Allow flexibility in use of capital receipts to pay off the debts
- Put the remainder of the debt into a residuary body to manage over time
They say that some of the cuts proposed by Northamptonshire’s Tory administration are undeliverable And they say that senior figures in the administration should lead by example: chief executive services are one of the areas of overspend.