This month I have been in correspondence with Tower Hamlets Council regarding cuts to children’s services and proposals to close Overland Children’s Centre.
In terms of the general issue of children’s services cuts, a number of constituents contacted me about the consultation exercise being undertaken by the council, saying that such cuts would impact not only on children, parents, future generations, but also will have a direct impact on poverty within the borough. Concerns have also been voiced regarding a lack of consultation. I am pressing for answers on these questions, although it is fair to say that many of us could foresee this scenario. It’s all well and good promising that funding levels will be maintained; but those proverbial chickens tend to come home to roost.
The Overland Children’s Centre is a resource for deaf children. Parents are incredibly concerned that the support provided by Overland could be taken away. Many describe the centre as a lifeline for the children and their families, and say that, by attending the centre, there is a significant increase in the confidence and communication skills of deaf children. Once again, the lack of consultation has been raised as an issue, too.
Could all this tie in with the contents of a press release I put out this month, which focused on concerns about the distribution of grants in Tower Hamlets? A recent analysis by ‘Love Wapping’ reported that there has been an uneven distribution of monies in the borough. I have written to Mayor Lutfur Rahman for confirmation of the accuracy of this information. I shall look forward to his reply, and to the replies to my other correspondence regarding children’s services, and shall be happy to report back to local people accordingly.