Community Voice Find Money to Save 7 Children’s Centres

Community Voice have today announced the first alternative proposals to Labour’s Mohammed Pervez’s proposed cuts to City Council Services.

Community Voice’s first priority is to protect front line services that directly affect the most vulnerable in our Communities.

Proposals

* Scrapping the refurbishment of Floor 1 saving £650,000

* Reduce the Ward Budgets by a further £1m saving £1,000,000

* Freezing Cllr allowance increases on those over £21,000 (same as council staff increases) saving approx £20,000

* No Children’s Centre to close taking the savings above

”I believe that the proposals to spend such a huge amount on the Floor 1 refurbishment whilst we are contemplating such huge cuts, is both ludicrous and unsustainable. The redeployment of officers can still go ahead, but they should utilise facilities already in place, without the need for cosmetic dressing up, it would be a small sacrifice to save jobs and services.

Ward Funding has been of great benefit to the communities and wards it has been spent on over the last few years. But in these hard times, when other vital services are under such pressure, it is a luxury that needs to be put in perspective. Our proposal would still mean that councillors and communities would have funding to spend on community projects but this would be reduced in the interests of protecting vulnerable services.”

”We have made a commitment to work together the City Council Executive to try and work through a difficult budget setting period.

Public Sector pay has been frozen for all staff that earn over £21,000, whilst, quite rightly those below that level on low incomes will still get a rise. We believe that it is only right that councillors and their allowances bear their share of the burden. Our proposals mean that any councillors being paid more than £21,000 per year should not receive any increase that was agreed in previous years. This is only fair to present a level playing field with our hard working staff at the council.

We are deeply concerned about the proposals to close Childrens Centre, not just because of their importance, but the inconsistency in the figures produced by the Council on how much is spent on this service, as figures publish so far vary by £3m!

I hope the council will seriously consider our genuine positive ideas in order to work together to protect jobs and services.

This just represents out first suggestions and we anticipate that we can find many more savings to reduce jobs loses.”

”So many people, parents, grandparents and most importantly children, have benefited from our highly recognised Children’s Centres. Teachers in our schools have told me that they can instantly tell when children start school which have had Children Centre support and which have not, as they are far more prepared and far more advanced than those who have not.

This is a key service that must be protected in the interests of future generations. It is hard to believe that the Council would even consider this. So many people are upset by these closure proposals. I am delighted my colleagues and I have found a solution I hope the Labour and coalition will adopt to save the 7 Children’s Centres earmarked for the axe. I hope they do this at the earliest opportunity and address the worry and concerns of parents and staff throughout the City.”

Stoke-on-Trent Ward Councillors Present Cheque To City Farm Support Group

On Friday August 6, the three Ward Councillors for Berryhill & Hanley East, Councillors Rita Dale, Adrian Knapper and John Davis presented a cheque for £5,000 to the “ËœFriends of the City Farm’ support group.

This was a donation from the Ward Budget towards fund raising to help improve the facilities at the farm. The support group formed in February this year with the objective to promote the city farm and raise funds to renovate the facilities.

“All ward members got together with the support group and agreed this was an appropriate way to spend the ward budget. We feel it is a valuable resource for local people it is loved by children and older people alike. It is a real asset to our ward.”

Any member of the public can join the Friends of the City Farm support group by contacting Jeff Johnson the Chairman of the group on 01782 212976.