The Staffordshire Labour Group’s call in of the Conservative Cabinet decision to cut funding to Staffordshire CABs by £439,000 has resulted in a rethink. Cabinet member Councillor Alan White agreed at yesterday’s Corporate Review Committee to reconsider his decision.
The proposed cuts in funding would have resulted in many smaller bureaux closing and a much reduced service in other bureaux which provide free, confidential and quality marked advice on a wide range of issues including debt, benefits and consumer information.
Leading the call in on behalf of the Labour Group, Councillor Shree Peaple said:
“The CABs provide real value for money. In the first six months of the year, for an investment of less than 59 pence per resident per year the financial return was £14.7 million, on average £17 per resident. That is in addition to helping residents deal with over £11 million worth of debt. That benefits not only local families but also local shops and businesses. I am delighted that we have won a reprieve for Staffordshire CABs but they are not out of the woods yet as there are still hard decisions to be made”
Kyle Robinson , Labour County Council Candidate for Talke and Red Street said:
“The CAB offers expert advice to help people tackle their debt problems. Many residents, young and old in Butt Lane, Talke Pits and Chesterton Red Street access CAB services in a time of need. People are really struggling to make ends meet and to take away this vital service would be another blow for the local community. People assume that only people on benefits use CAB services, but this is simply not true. A large proportion of people who use the service are in work. I am also aware that many disabled people turn to the CAB for support, especially when seeking work. The County Council must think again and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community get the support they need and deserve. You never know when you might need to access this service yourself.”
Councillor Sue Woodward, Leader of the Labour Group said,
“With the petition in favour of saving our CABs already running at over 11,500, this reflects the real value Staffordshire residents put on these services. We must now find a fairer and more positive solution. I am pleased that our call in was so successful.”
Please sign the petition if you haven’t already: https://www.change.org/p/staffordshire-county-council-help-protect-local-citizens-advice-services-across-staffordshire
On Monday 20th June, Staffordshire County Council issued a letter to community leaders to state that the School Crossing Patrol on the A34 Congleton Road, Butt Lane (outside St. Saviours School) will be scrapped by September 2016. The letter also states that sites across the county have been assessed and categorised and the A34 Congleton Road has been deemed as a low priority due to a traffic signal controlled crossing point already in place. The school may be asked to find £3,500 if the service is to continue.
On speaking with parents and families in the local area, it has become clear that we need this School Crossing Patrol. Staffordshire County Council has a duty to keep our children safe and this decision is very worrying indeed. For many years, Congleton Road has been considered a dangerous road with increasing accidents and even fatalities. It is completely unacceptable for the Council to categorise this road as a lower priority. The school crossing is situated near a dangerous junction to St Saviours School and St. Saviour’s Street and our local lollipop man plays a crucial role carrying out a potentially life-saving task. Congestion on Congleton Road has increased in recent times and becomes strangled if there is an accident on the M6. This adds further safety concerns for local residents and the leadership at Staffordshire County Council cannot go on ignoring this problem.
Our local schools should be spending their ever shrinking budgets on children’s education, not be forced to foot the bill for highways services, which are the responsibility of Staffordshire County Council.
Please click the link and sign the petition to save our lollipop man for the safety of our children and families:
Town Councillor, Laura Dillon and Newcastle Borough Councillor, Sarah Pickup are calling for an important footpath to be adopted and repaired. The footpath between Poplar Drive and Windmill Avenue is supposed to serve the local community as a safer route to St. Thomas’ Primary School. In recent years, the path has been neglected and the wooden sleepers, used to hold up part of the walk way, have begun to rot. Parents and children are avoiding the footpath, citing that it is too dangerous to walk up or down.
Laura Dillon said: “More and more parents are dropping their children off to school in their vehicles because they fear using the footpath between Poplar Drive and Windmill Avenue. It’s slippy and I know parents and children have fallen on several occasions. I would like Staffordshire County Council to help fix the path so that it can be made safe. Why cant these routes be adopted when there is such an obvious benefit to the community? I will continue to push for some answers and I am also looking into whether we can apply for some community funding to put the problem right.”
Cllr Pickup said: “More and more people are using their cars these days, but we need to encourage walking to school if at all possible. Parents will not take up walking schemes with their children if the roads and footpaths are dangerous. The local authority really needs to get a grip and put much needed investment into our local highways.”
(Published and promoted by Kyle Robinson of 88 Newchapel Road, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 4RT on behalf of Laura Dillon of 42 Hillary Road, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 4DP)