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We need to support children
9:32am Thursday 13th February 2014 in Salisbury Letters
IN wishing to express my point of view, I stumbled across Annie Riddle's comment (SJOpinion, February 6) which word for word expressed my own opinion. I am, of course, referring to the Wiltshire Council public consultation on youth services.
As Annie said, regarding the Save Hillcote campaign, the public consultation was merely an exercise in formally answering questions to members of the public as to why these cuts are acceptable to the Clinical Commissioning Group and Wiltshire Council.
As with those involved in trying to save Hillcote, I do not believe that the specialist respite care that is currently offered to our most severely disabled children can be offered within the now to be implemented Specialist Carer plans.
So how to save the youth services which are up for public consultation?
Wiltshire Council is looking to close 24 youth centres and make 144 staff redundant. The only way I can see the council considering change is to have the children who are using these facilities - as Annie said for Hillcote - out rioting, making as much of a public nuisance as possible, sleeping out for days on end at County Hall in Trowbridge. I for one think Wiltshire Council has played a blinder of a card, by targeting all the youth centres in one go and all the staff, it is near on impossible to effectively defend all the proposed closures.
It is very much a case that the best organised local groups will be the ones that have the best chance to make their case, while those groups who are less well equipped to make their stance will slip below the headline news.
There is every need to continue to support our children in whatever ways we can in our communities.
The children who have yet to reap any benefits from these youth centres are the ones who will loose out the most.
Why would today's children become tomorrow’s voters if they are let down by the politicians and councillors of today?
Tom Corbin, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Salisbury
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