You can read 19 more articles this month
TORY cuts to children’s services in England are putting kids’ lives at risk, according to a new Labour study published yesterday, as councils face a £2 billion funding hole.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that the party’s research showed that the number of youngsters taken into care was on the rise, and had reached levels not seen since the 1980s.
In the 12 months to March last year, a total of 72,670 vulnerable children were taken in by children’s homes or foster families.
Mr McDonnell visited the Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre in London to launch the party’s report highlighting the worsening funding crisis in English children’s services.
Councils have warned that they face a £2bn funding black hole by 2020.
Mr McDonnell said: “It is a national scandal that vulnerable children are paying the price for the austerity policies of this Tory government.”
He called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to allocate the £2bn needed in his Spring Budget next week.
Labour’s research showed that the number of children at risk of abuse who are subject to a protection plan rose by 29 per cent between 2010 and 2016.
In the same period, the number of children social workers assessed as being in need rose by 5 per cent and the number of children taken into care went up by 10 per cent.
However, councils in England — of which three-quarters have exceeded their children’s services budgets and have a combined overspend of £605 million — have seen a 40 per cent cut in early intervention spending.
And the National Children’s Bureau said that more than one in three councillors are warning that cuts have left them with insufficient resources to support vulnerable children.
Labour cited a bureau report which expects a further real-terms cut of £388m to children’s services budgets by the end of the decade.
Mr McDonnell said that “failure to act would be morally reprehensible.”
Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne warned that more vulnerable children who are at risk of harm will not get the help they need from social services if councils find themselves in even more serious difficulty.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.