The battle for Spon Lane Children’s Home

Sandwell’s scrutiny committee, which met on 24th June challenged the Council cabinet proposal to move to close the Spon Lane Children’s Home, the last remaining Council run Children’s home in the Borough.

Sandwell’s Cabinet has pursued the closure on the grounds that the building design of the Spon Lane is not conducive to the best care of young people.

The current proposal would lead to the break-up of an experienced and well trained group of residential staff and to the loss of their jobs through redundancy.

The Scrutiny Committee considered the decision to close the Home in relation to the need to retain in-house residential children’s care and referred the matter back to the next Cabinet meeting on 10th July.

The unanimous decision of the Board was that:

This scrutiny board accept that the Spon Lane building may be inadequate for future provision of children’s residential services, but any decision to close it should be in the context of continuing to provide an in-house service.

The Scrutiny Committee tacitly accepted the case of UNISON, GMB and UNITE that new accommodation should be provided by the Council to create two smaller residential care homes and to retain the current staff group.

This is the outcome of effective lobbying by the local Trade Union’s and Bearwood against the cuts who have put pressure on local Labour Councillor’s. But the key decision remains with Sandwell’s cabinet.

The case for keeping local children’s homes in Sandwell has been strengthened by recent national criticism of children being placed in private Children’s Homes often at significant distance from their families and communities.

The campaign to keep Spon Lane Children’s Home open is currently seeking 3,000 signatures from Sandwell residents to get the closure debated by the full Sandwell Council.

The role of local authorities in retaining and directly providing children’s social care services is a national issue, and follows the trend for all Council run adult social care provision to be closed and outsourced.

A further lobby of Sandwell’s Labour Cabinet has been called for this Wednesday 10th July from 1.30pm outside Sandwell Council House in Oldbury.</div

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The battle for Spon Lane Children’s Home

  1. Pat Highton

    Have started an online petition to get the 5000 signatures we need so that the full Council will look at the issue (we already have about 3500) – so if you can sign to support that’d be much appreciated – thanks – Patrick
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sandwell-metropilitan-borough-council-stop-the-closure-of-spon-lane-childrens-centre-smethwick#

  2. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » The battle for Spon Lane Children’s Home

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