Union urges Nottingham City Council to think again on proposed play and youth service cuts

The union Unison has written to all councillors on Nottingham City Council to voice its opposition to proposed cuts to play and youth services.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:16 pm

And it has warned of dire consequences later on for statutory social services as fewer safeguarding cases will be picked up at an early stage.

As reported in the Dispatch last month, the council says it has no choice but to make the closures as it struggles to fill a large gap in its budget and make £28 million of savings over the next year.

This has led to fears of a ‘wholesale closure of children’s centres’ with Bulwell Children’s Centre now among those facing an uncertain future.

Unison has called on Nottingham City Council to scrap plans to close play and youth centres to help make £28 million of savings

Speaking last month, Coun Sam Webster (Lab), portfolio holder for finance, said reductions in Government funding were behind the £28 million gap in finances.

He said it also comes on the back of a ‘social care crisis’, with adult social care and child social care taking up a combined £155 million of the council’s £240 million overall budget.

He added he had tried to protect services for ‘years and years’ but says under-funding by Government was most to blame for the decision to reduce services.

Read More

Read More
Dispatch district children's centre under threat iof closure as council tries to...

Unison says the proposed cuts would end play service provision in the city, adding that 33 jobs would be lost and the closures would impact directly on the lives of children and young people in some of the most disadvantaged communities.

Jean Thorpe, Nottingham City Unison chairman, said: “These cuts are devastating.

"The play and youth service helps children develop self-esteem and social skills, and offers another set of eyes on the children to keep them safe.

"At the recent consultation meetings, children and their parents expressed anger and disbelief at the council’s proposals and how they would welcome increased access to these services not reductions

Christina Sanna, Nottingham City Unison branch secretary, added: “Nottingham City Unison is completely opposed to these proposed cuts and we call on the council to withdraw these plans and to campaign with us and other councils for fair Local Authority funding from national government which allows councils to meet the needs of their communities.”