Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cuts to children's services in Kent

I'm not a fan of council tax, it is not very progressive (i.e. it doesn't really increase the proportion you pay with the amount you earn) and I am not keen on seeing it rise. One problem with council tax rises is when it is used for political purposes, ensuring small rises just before an important election and bigger rises in between. Let's hope that this year's low rise in Kent is not motivated because of the election.

It certainly hasn't been driven down by a surplus of cash though. KCC still hasn't got much of the money lost to Iceland back and is increasingly unlikely to do so.

Instead, it is cutting jobs in children's services - 260 of them but it claims that front line services won't be hit. I'm not sure how you can cut this number of support staff without frontline services taking extra strain?

But equally bad is the statement from Cllr Sarah Hohler (Con) cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education: "Kent has an excellent reputation for its services for children, young people and their families and we are determined to continue this. We are living in challenging economic times and it is essential we make economies and do things differently to make every penny count" 

Those back office staff who are losing their jobs are real people with real families. These support staff are likely to be mostly women (yes I will be asking KCC) and likely to be among the lower paid workers in the council. We are living in challenging economic times, Cllr Hohler, and you are now making it far more challenging for those people whose jobs you are cutting. Perhaps Cllr Hohler should remind Kent about her pay rise last year?

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