Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Second Cabinet climbdown in 24 hours

Today just gets better and better. I've just received a jubilant phone call from Jeff Crawford, husband of one of the Early Years Inclusion Team members, to tell me that the Director of Children's Services is to recommend to Cabinet that the proposal to downgrade the Early Years Inclusion service be dropped from the budget.

A full review and consultation with all interested parties will now take place to secure an appropriate future for the service.

This is tremendous news - though, as I said before: did they always intend this? Was it just an Aunt Sally? Who cares now: the result is the right one both for this service as well as for the Storysacks charity.

Cllr Fred Lawton and I have been lobbying hard for the retention of both these services and we are delighted that these short-sighted and harmful proposals have both been withdrawn.

The distress that these proposals caused is deeply regrettable. The Labour Cabinet should be ashamed of itself for putting parents and staff through such emotional turmoil over the past few weeks. The original plan to withdraw this important front-line service from the children of this Borough showed a callous disregard for this vulnerable group. It should never have been proposed.

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