Plea to treat Brighton and Hove children's services fairly across the city

Posted On 08 Nov 2011 at 7:27 pm

An opposition councillor has spoken out about the financial threat to Sure Start children’s centres across Brighton and Hove.

Councillor Dawn Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll for the Conservatives, said that the Greens were considering cutting spending on the children’s centres in the council’s budget.

She raised her concerns after Councillor Sue Shanks, the Green cabinet member for children and young people, was reported to have spoken about budget pressures.

Councillor Shanks was reported to have said that Brighton and Hove City Council was required to make £50 million savings over three years.

And given that children’s services were such a big part of the council’s overall budget, it would be difficult to spare them completely.

But the administration would try to maintain services in Whitehawk and Moulseoomb in particular.

Councillor Barnett said: “Sue Shanks states that she can’t guarantee that Sure Start nurseries won’t be affected by budget cuts.

“Let’s not forget the £47 million that Whitehawk had from EB4U. I’d really like to know how the residents benefited from that.

Deprived

“No one else in the city had that kind of money and yet the Knoll estate was one of the most deprived in the whole country.

“They’re putting politics before the good of the city. They have a duty to look after all of the city.

“Many areas have social housing – Hangleton and Knoll, Coldean, North and South Portslade, Woodingdean.

“When the Conservatives were the administration the money was spread right across the city.

“The Greens are playing politics and children will suffer.”

The Greens say that the council relies for most of its income on grants from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government, with council tax making up much of the rest.

And that the coalition government is imposing cuts which it blames on the previous Labour government and the banking crisis.

  1. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    This bit of black propaganda is unworthy of a serving councillor and smacks of self-serving attention-seeking. I’d fall about laughing at this bonkers tosh if it wasn’t so wicked.

    EB4U is ancient Labour Administration History and central (Labour)government largesse years and years ago, and that’s just for starters. How this woman has the gall to fashion a connection between the Green Administration and EB4U madness I do not know.

    The Greens and Labour councillors along with a really inspired public campaign stopped ……drum roll…..the CONSERVATIVE Administration Cllr Barnett was part of….from TERMINATING THE SURESTART CHILDRENS NURSERY!

    This article reflects badly on the Conservative Party and risks bringing Cllr Barnett into yet another position where her judgment can be called into question.

  2. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Brightstart I meant, not surestart….

  3. IMHO Reply

    I particularly like Cllr Barnett’s comment that “They’re putting politics before the good of the city. They have a duty to look after all of the city.”

    I guess she forgot about that citywide principle when she unhesitatingly directed Travellers from “her” ward to “Green” ones during the summer!

  4. A Thorpe Reply

    Obviously those people who think that Brighton has deprived areas must think that the country ends at Watford!

  5. Tony Davenport Reply

    I think Dawn Barnett makes a valid point, but perhaps without the clarity it needs. How this piece reads to me as is that cuts have to be made to Children’s services across the city – funny how the Greens assured people “no cuts” before the election – however rather than this being an equal cut across the whole city, the Greens will give preferential treatment to Whitehawk and Moulsecombe. Yet, as is pointed out, Whitehawk has already had £47 million that no other area of the city got in the form of EB4U.

    As for the accusation of “self-serving attention-seeking” …. well ….. ahem ….

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