|Planned Council Cuts To Be Reviewed|
Proposals will hit services to children in Merton
Proposed cuts to services for young people in Merton will be reviewed before the council makes its final decision on its cost-saving budget for 2012-13.
Councillors on the Children and Young People's Scrutiny Panel said a number of proposals being made as part of plans to save £44m during the next three years should be rejected.
Among those proposals were:
- Closure of Morden's Wyvern Youth Club
Councillor Richard Hilton, Conservative education spokesman, said: "To propose such deep and unnecessary cuts to services aimed at keeping young people spending their time fruitfully just six months after the summer riots is dangerously short sighted. Likewise with the cuts to school admissions when the borough is in the middle of a primary school places crisis.
Lib Dem councillor Iain Dysart has also spoken out against the proposed cuts, arguing that "our young people's present and future development must be safeguarded".
He said: "Whilst we know that cuts are inevitable with difficult choices necessary, short term savings with longer term financial and social costs must be resisted".
He specifically highlighted the dangers posed by reducing the number of schools admissions officers, given the demand for primary and secondary school places; the reduction of funding for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, which helps to give young people skills and confidence for the future; and reducing the social work support for adoptive families, especially given after recent figures revealed Merton was languishing in adoption tables.
January 24, 2012