Stockport’s Cabinet Member for Children & Families, Cllr Colin Foster, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to reconsider a policy which will hand £4.7billion to bankers, and use this cash for vulnerable children and families instead ahead of Christmas.
The letter makes clear the crisis facing Children and Families services up and down the land, which is leading to increasing demand upon services at a time where resources are dwindling.
In Stockport, this has led to a growth of 63% of in the number of children on Child Protection Plans in the eighteen months from April 2016 to November 2017, alongside a 23% increase in the number of looked after children (290 to 360). There have also been increases in homelessness, domestic violence, child sexual exploitation and mental health issues.
This has led to a deficit of £2.4million in Children & Families services. Stockport Children & Families services have already had to achieve £11.05Million savings from 2014/14 to 2017/18, and the service is expected to find further savings of £3.15million over the next two years.
The letter asks the Chancellor to reverse the Banking Levy policy which will see £4.7billion go to bankers, in favour of Children’s Services, which supports vulnerable citizens and future citizens, while producing long-terms savings by helping the vulnerable on their feet.
In parliament, Labour are also seeking to amend the budget at its second reading to reverse banking levy and fund Children’s Services.
Commenting, Cllr Colin Foster said;
“These unprecedented rises in demand for Children and Families services are a direct result of year-upon-year of the government’s own policies on cuts – however the Chancellor appears able to find money for bankers.
“The government appears to be saying – there is money for the very richest, but not for the very most vulnerable in our society, including vulnerable children.
“I wrote this letter to the Chancellor to challenge him to prove this assessment wrong, do the right thing, reverse this give away to the super-rich, and help the vulnerable. In my view that would be the right message to send ahead of Christmas.”