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.
Read more about the full impacts here