The new proposed service won’t deliver what families need in the borough after significant job cuts
Lambeth Council has unveiled its proposed new model for its children’s centres as a result of government cuts to the service.
The new service will see some centres become hubs whilst others run on part time hours with ad hoc visits from staff for play sessions.
Staff are concerned that the cuts will leave them unable to provide the level of care that many families need.
The current proposal has 26 job roles being deleted out of a current total of 73 FTE posts.
The number of Better Start workers who deliver one to one support for families referred for early intervention services are also being cut from 16 to 12, meaning far fewer resources to help troubled families. Staff are very concerned about the service being stretched to breaking point with a lack of funding and resources.
Shockingly the current proposals have no specialist Special Educational Needs provision.
UNISON and GMB trade unions are calling on the council to halt the restructure to wait to see if there is an election as a new government could well restore significant funding to local authorities.
Ruth Cashman from Lambeth UNISON said “Children’s Centres provide opportunities for play, learning and social connection for otherwise potentially isolated children and parents, and also offer opportunities for carers to share their practical and emotional difficulties with staff and to seek support. They allow early intervention for families who need it, you will not find an honest professional who thinks that the removal of Children’s Centre services save money in the long term. We will pay for these cuts in the future in social services, education and health budgets and with children’s lives. There is no possible excuse for Lambeth to continue along this path with the research they have seen and the knowledge a general election is on the horizon.”
Staff in both UNISON and GMB trade unions have taken an indicative ballot and indicated they wish to take industrial action against the cuts.
Visit https://lambethunisonblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/a-better-plan.pdf for the UNISON and parents response to the proposed cuts