Labour-run Bradford council is planning to axe huge parts of children’s services in the city with the loss of up to 400 jobs—half the department’s workforce.
This could be just the first wave of an even further reaching set of cuts across the local authority.
The children’s services cuts could have severe effects on more than 2,200 families with children with special needs and children at risk.
Michael Jameson, strategic director for children’s services, said, “We have to be clear there will be a massive impact on staff.
“It affects around half our staff in this service.”
Yet he claimed, “But this is the best way to future proof the service.”
Bradord People’s Assembly said it has obtained documents revealing that the council’s plans are not the result of austerity measures forced on them by the Tories.
Jameson said, “This is generally what we always planned to do in terms of trying to bring services closer to families, at a more local level.”
Bradford People’s Assembly has called a meeting to organise opposition to the proposals.
The plans are currently undergoing a public consultation.
If approved they will reduce the help available to children aged 0 to 19 no matter how complex their needs.
The plans will also see the downgrading of many children’s centres.
George Williamson of Bradford People’s Assembly said, “Bradford council is telling the public that these drastic cuts are needed due to government cuts.
“But papers leaked to Bradford People’s Assembly show that funding cuts are being used as a cover for these changes.
“To make such huge cuts to the help families can get and putting many people’s livelihoods on the line to pursue an ideological idea is beyond the pale.
“So far Bradford council has not provided any evidence that the changes are needed.
“So why are they doing this?”
Bradford People’s Assembly said that the council had been forced to abandon plans drawn up in 2015 to cut youth services after protests and opposition.
George said, “By working together, we have defeated Bradford council’s planned budget cuts that will adversely affect young people and we can do it again.”