Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

South Shields premier political blog

Labour’s South Tyneside secret plans exposed!

with 13 comments

South Tyneside job losses – children to suffer!

I wrote on 15th. June of what a rotten day it was, perhaps I could sniff some rottenness in the atmosphere, perhaps I had a notion that a certain South Tyneside Labour councillor was trying to disguise or hide something, and it appears that I am right. Happy 60th. Birthday Cllr. Foreman, hope I don’t spoil the party too much.

Many years ago when our local newspaper was not so cosy with our local politicians there was great concern at the secrecy and sleight of hand tricks being played by the South Tyneside Labour Party, many decisions were being taken behind closed doors with the press and public excluded, and often opposition members excluded too. There was public outcry as the Editor of the Shields Gazette, Michael Blackah performed a great public service and exposed decisions that should never have been taken in secret, and we thought that Labour had learned it’s lesson back then. For a number of years the amount of reports given to councillors on “green paper” (signifying this top secret policy) reduced greatly, they became used only when real confidence was at risk, perhaps when individuals were being named and identified, this was more acceptable to the general public. The circle seems to have turned and “green papers” are once again being used to hide unpopular agendas from other councillors, the press, and the public.

On 15th. June I wrote mainly about children, I asked you to think about ‘looked after’ children, and other ‘vulnerable’ children. ‘Looked after’ is the term we use now for those children we once described as in ‘local council care’, and there are many very good reasons why we have to look after them as a community. Many are from broken homes, the product of broken relationships, some are in great need of protection perhaps from their own parents who have descended into the misery of drugs or alcohol, some have lost their parents and family. These are the most vulnerable children in our modern society and we have a duty of care to try and help them grow in strength as committed and productive citizens.

Council to close children’s home!

Two days before I wrote that piece South Tyneside’s Cabinet met to discuss an item in secret, not because it disclosed personal confidentialities, but because the cutting of services and jobs is not supposed to be on Labour’s agenda! Financial savings are meant to come from efficiency drives or budgetary constraints forced upon them by central government. So it comes as a shock to learn that Labour is to deviate from this path and plans to close the six bed children’s home in Lanark Drive , Jarrow with the loss of a dozen jobs! All to save a sum of £200,000!

They plan to find more foster parents instead of using this home, and plan to relocate two of the existing 14 jobs to the children’s home in Whiteleas Way, South Shields, the other posts will be deleted and redundancy or redeployment offered. The report says that alternative plans for the children will need to be sensitively executed. Yet the report also implies that great risks are involved

“There is a potential financial risk if the numbers of looked after children do not reduce, and/or the fostering campaign fails to recruit or retain sufficient numbers of foster carers”

I am not yet aware of the Cabinet’s decision on this matter, it is not on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting, and as yet no agenda has been published for the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on 17th. July. They plan to close the home by the end of October 2007.

I call upon ALL South Tyneside Councillors to press for an open and honest public debate on this matter before deciding to sacrifice the future hopes of our looked after children simply for financial gains which are not guaranteed!

We do not need to see a secret fait accompli at the next full Council at the end of this month, the time to act is now!

The South Tyneside Labour Rat Pack

Decision makers Cllr. Jimmy Foreman, Cllr. Paul Waggott, Cllr. Iain Malcolm, and Cllr. Alex Donaldson.

Hang your heads in shame for keeping this sleazy sneaky secret!

South Tyneside's Labour Rat Pack

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Written by curly

July 10, 2007 at 12:39 pm

13 Responses

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  1. Thank you Curly for bringing this to our attention. Once again our so called representatives on the council making decisions on behalf of us behind closed doors why? When these people were elected they were supposed to be the voice of the people they represent. As soon as the majority are elected they then, for what ever reason, become the voice of Mr. Malcolm and co.they follow his lead, do as he says, to hell with the wishes of the people that put their faith in them at the ballot box.

    j taylor

    July 10, 2007 at 2:13 pm

  2. good work Curly

    j taylor

    July 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  3. THE LABOUR PARTY CLLRS WHO SIT BEHIND THESE CLOSED DOORS MAKING THESE SORT OF DECICIONS SUPPOSINLY ON BEHALF OF US ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO PUSH LEAFLETS THROUGH OUR DOORS AT ELECTION TIME [not enough troops these days to knock] SAYING THEY WILL DO ALL THEY CAN FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE WARD NOT TO MENTION WHAT THEY ARE REALY SAYING AND THAT IS (I WILL DO ALL MR MALCOLM ASKS OF ME WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT)WHEN OUR VUNERABLE CHILDREN ARE AT RISK OF LOOSING THEIR HOMES IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE!

    j taylor

    July 10, 2007 at 2:57 pm

  4. The sly little tinkers
    they should be ashamed of themselves
    then again the name Waggott
    leaves another bad taste in our mouths

    time for change

    sless

    July 10, 2007 at 6:43 pm

  5. Its the same in Australia, whether it be local council, state government or federal government, they are all politicians voted by the people, and as such they are civil servants, the keyword here is “servants” they are suppose to work for the community state or country, in my opinion, any thing done or decided with out public knowledge is tantamount to treason if those decisions are harmful to the wellbeing of the existence of a healthy community, all too often the public is ripped off by these tyrants who pass laws and bylaws to feather their own nest, in australia these lazy tyrants can get paid for political meetings whether they attend those meetings or not, i assume it’s the same in england.

    what these tyrants do is suppose to be a service to the community/country…

    it’s not suppose to be a private money making venture which is what most of them achieve, unfortunately, with power comes greed, and the foolish masses keep on believing that they live in a complete democracy…

    rocky

    July 10, 2007 at 6:49 pm

  6. There are lots of people looking at this post from the South Shields Labour Party this evening, and it looks like none of them wish to defend the indefensible (or they’ve been warned to keep quiet). Perhaps they might like to return here tomorrow when they’ll have a chance to defend another of their disreputable councillors. (Some of my customers have been very “chatty” today.)

    curly

    July 10, 2007 at 6:58 pm

  7. what??
    more skeletons in the cupboard

    never

    sless

    July 10, 2007 at 9:42 pm

  8. Curly, what is so bad about foster homes? Surely it is the interest and welfare of the children you should be thinking about and not the selective bits of some report or other I and the vast majority of your bloggers are not privy to.

    I know of two families who have fostered children and those youngsters have been generally much better off in a family situation with brothers and sisters and parents than in a formal ‘home’.

    Dr. Bernado’s did away with their homes years ago so if this council can find families who can treat a Lanark Drive ‘resident’ like one of their own so much the better for society.

    neil maxwell

    July 10, 2007 at 9:55 pm

  9. I quite agree Neil, however it would not be prudent to dispose of these six beds at this time, taking into consideration the potential risk (as the report points out) of not finding sufficient foster parents, or of reducing the numbers of ‘looked after children’.

    Would you not agree?

    curly

    July 10, 2007 at 10:50 pm

  10. Like I said (or blogged!) unlike you I am not in full command of the report. Therefore I can only give my own experience of children having a better chance in life living in a family structure rather than a formal setting.

    Perhaps you could be good enough to let us see the report in full instead of the parts you only wanted us to see?

    neil maxwell

    July 10, 2007 at 11:23 pm

  11. Neil,

    you, of all people, should understand fully what a “green paper” is, and therefore you will appreciate that if I took the risk of scanning it and uploading it to my image server, I would seriously compromise my source.
    (Perhaps that’s what you would intend.)
    I am sure that you will know people who have a copy of the report, should you wish to see it.

    curly

    July 11, 2007 at 12:17 am

  12. Yes indeed I know of people who have this report as you have supplied their photo’s and names.

    What I (and I am sure many other people would like) is a non partisan view of the report in full which would bring about an open and fair debate.

    Remember, we are talking about society’s most vulnerable.

    neil maxwell

    July 11, 2007 at 12:51 am

  13. This is my first post
    just saying HI

    jameswillisisthebest

    September 8, 2007 at 9:34 pm


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