Friday, 30 September 2011

Subsidising Bromley's expansion at residents' expense

Letters published in local media are often forgotten the week after they appear. This letter by Rod Reed deserves perhaps a more permanent post on Bromley Cuts Concern (Bromley Against the Cuts) blog.

The Bromley Times, September 29 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bromley Kids - What Future

Tuesday, 6th September, 7:00pm - children & youth services under threat of cuts and closure. Bromley Cuts Concern is supporting a lobby against a vote for cuts at Tuesday's council meeting - Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, meet 6:30pm.

In his capacity as Bromley Cuts Concern (Bromley Against the Cuts) supporter, Paul Summers writes

What will the future hold for the children of Bromley, are they being failed by the council and national government, the prospects don't look good. Sure Start family centres have lots of ways to help children and families through early years. Bromley council's proposed closures of these centres led to questions in parliament.

Libraries are vital for children whose families don't have books, a computer or a quiet room for homework. Half the library staff face redundancy and opening hours could be reduced. The council has backed down a little in the face of community resistance.

Youth clubs keep teenagers occupied, helping them to learn to socialise and cooperate through sport and film projects etc. When two youth clubs closed in St Mary Cray Harold Barker chair of safer neighbourhood panel said Mountfield Estate "is now out of control " Councillor Stephen Carr had to admit " We don't always get it right" (Newsshopper 4 May 2011) but the youth clubs remain closed. Education Maintainance Allowance was a good thing because attendance at class was conditional to payment. Some teenagers will not be able to do A levels now. Connexions was good at helping with CVs and getting people through their interviews and into their first job. All south London boroughs have closed Connexions Centres.

University fees have tripled to £9,000 a year. In today's terms we have a quarter of the debt we had post World War Two so why the cuts? Maybe that's the subject for another article. What kind of society do we want? It is false economy to cut these services because of the damage it will cause.Any short term savings (and in fact more) will need to be spent on probation, policing, fire service,insurance premiums, hospitals, court costs and prisons. 

Paul Summers


          The Bromley Times 8/9/11

The Bromley Times, 15/9/11 

Kate Nelson @ Bromley Times reports on Bromley children's centres here