Unite claims “significant victory” as council votes to keep children’s services in-house
Unite has claimed a “significant” victory after Cornwall Council yesterday voted to keep children’s services in-house, and not to outsource them.
The council’s cabinet voted to adopt the option – outlined in its One Vision blueprint – to keep children’s services in-house from April 2019.
However, Unite warned that the possibility of parents paying for health visitors to carry out vital health checks on their babies and children still remains as the ‘means tested charging’ wording is in the One Vision document.
Unite regional officer Deborah Hopkins said: “We welcome the decision of the council’s cabinet to keep children’s services in-house and not outsource them to a separate company. It is a very significant victory for the people of Cornwall and a big set-back for the insidious privatisation agenda.
“We welcome the council’s announcement that parents won’t be means tested when they require children’s services, such as a visit from a health visitor.
“However, that possibility is still within the wording of the One Vision framework and until that is finally jettisoned from the document, Unite will be following developments in the weeks and months ahead very closely.
“Unite is keen to work collaboratively and constructively with the management of children’s services to ensure the best possible outcomes for families and children in Cornwall, which is one of the poorest counties in England.”
The other option that councillors rejected today was for a so-called ‘alternative delivery model’ by a company that is separate from the council with the potential to make profits from parents.
The introduction of charging is in the document’s section on Drawing on funding opportunities where one proposal is: ‘Introduce means tested charging for a range of family support services’.
About 235 health visitors and school nurses are transferring into a Cornwall council integrated children’s service in April 2019, to work with a multi-disciplinary team, alongside services for families and young people.
A recent survey revealed that nearly 20 neighbourhoods in Cornwall are among the 10% most deprived in England, according to The Index of Multiple Deprivation.
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