11 January 2018
Green councillor Josh Williams speaks out against the potential privatisation of Children’s Services in Reading.
A recent meeting of the Children’s Services Committee was the first opportunity that Councillors had to publicly scrutinise and discuss the Government's decision, made in collaboration with the Labour administration, to remove the failed Children's Services from the direct control of the Council.
Labour Councillors didn't speak on the item, but Green Party councillor Josh Williams raised very serious concerns with the proposal saying, "In the spirit of scrutiny and challenge, we must ensure that this new company isn't just a passive slide to the open privatisation of Children's Services. There is no place for 'market forces' in Children's Services, so the details that are going to come, the business case, and the on-going progress reports, will be vital to scrutiny, and to the future success of Children's Services in Reading."
Despite no democratic decision having yet been taken by the Council on the future of Children's services, the Council is pushing on with setting up a company, consulting staff, and communicating to services users, in advance of the scrutiny and democratic process this enormous and far-reaching decision deserves.
Cllr Rob White said, "Green councillors hope, and are working for, an improved Children’s Services to be brought back under the direct control of the council. They believe that this is in the best interest of Reading’s children."
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