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Issue - meetings

Deputations/Petitions/Questions

Meeting: 16/06/2015 - Cabinet (Item 9)

Deputations/Petitions/Questions

To consider any requests received in accordance with Standing Orders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council invited Zoi LLeshi and Mr. Issaka Farrakhan to put forward their deputation to Cabinet regarding agenda item 14, Delivering Children’s Centres.

 

Ms Lleshi began the deputation by expressing her dissatisfaction with the timing of the proposed consultation on the future Children’s Centre operating model which would fall in the summer holiday period where most parents and Children Centre staff would be on leave and therefore the questioned the  level of feedback that could be received to support  the proposals for the Children’s Centre model  going forward.

 

In essence, the deputation party were opposed to any budget reductions to Children’s Centres budget as they felt any reduction to Children Centres would have a considerable impact on the places available to children and also deprive parents and children of the Children Centres facilities such as ‘stay and play’.  The deputation party asserted that existing provision was at full capacity and any reduction would be detrimental. The party pointed to the wider service offer  provided by Children’s Centres and how they were greatly valued by parents and families. The deputation party had held parent led meetings at Children’s Centres in the borough themselves who also agreed that any budget reduction would be a mistake.

 

The deputation party questioned the spending priorities of the Council and Councillors, referenced Islington Council as an authority who were not reducing their Children’s Centre services and further asked the Leader to fully consider if this course of action was in the best interest of local residents.

 

 The deputation further argued that:

  • Children’s Centres were oversubscribed and that for every 12 stay and play places there were 100 subscriptions.

 

  • The key role that Centres had in early intervention which would need to be retained to avoid more costly support service sin the future.

 

The deputation asked the Cabinet to fully consider the future impact the budget reductions and re- designation of some Centres to community access points and the effect this would have on the future outcomes for children in the borough.

 

The Leader thanked the deputation party for coming forward and expressing their concerns and objections to the recommendations of the Children’s Centre report.

 

The Leader responded to the points raised in the deputation and asked how the calculation on demand for services had been arrived at.  In response, it was noted that, a member the deputation party had interviewed outreach workers at the Children’s Centres whose current personal experience and estimation was that there was no capacity in Centres for additional places.

 

The Leader advised the deputation that the boroughs of Haringey and Islington were different as the latter had a lower population but had received a higher grant funding for being an inner London borough. Haringey had a higher child population but had always received a less generous settlement for early years funding as it was termed an outer London borough. This deficit in early years funding over the years had culminated in the borough having a harsher financial position for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9