Children's services committee chair slams proposed cuts to jobs and service

  Posted: 13.10.21 at 17:00 by The Editor

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THE Labour chair of Thurrock Council's children's services overview and scrutiny committee has levelled a blast at the authority's ruling administration - and in particular four Conservative members of her committee who voted through reports sanctioning job cuts and a diminished children's service.

Speaking after last night's (Tuesday, 12 October) meeting, Cllr Sara Muldowney described the Tories as 'shameful'.

At the meeting two reports proposing cuts to education and skills and children's social Care, including staff redundancies, the loss of two nurseries in Tilbury and the loss of family contact staff, were discussed.

Cllr Muldowney said: "Due to Conservative mismanagement of the finances, Thurrock Council faces a £34.4 million  budget deficit over the next two years, with cuts of an estimated £20 million to be made to staffing.

"Thurrock Conservatives have known for over a year that deep cuts would have to be made as a result of their financial incompetence, but they have chosen to ignore the urgency of the situation and keep kicking the deficit can down the road.

"Thurrock Labour councillors have consistently asked for line by line budget reports to be brought through scrutiny so that the resources of all parties could be used to plan a sustainable budget, but Thurrock Conservatives have preferred to stick their fingers in their ears and deny that there was a problem.

"Last night, Thurrock Conservatives and the senior management of the council have made an absolute mockery of the children's service scrutiny committee by bringing two reports to it which attempt to obscure the deep cuts they represent."

"As chair I will not vote for any cuts which potentially put our most vulnerable children at risk and jeopardise the ability of children's services to adequately safeguard our children and young people, and I was very glad to have the support of my Thurrock Labour colleague, Cllr Lee Watson in voting against the cuts.

"Shame on the four Conservative councillors, Graham Snell, Alex Anderson, Abbie Akinbohun and James Thandi who voted to push through these cuts with little or no regard for the impact on the borough's children."

You can read the reports proposing cuts put to the committee here and here.

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