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News Report Page 12 of 35
Publication Date:- 2018-10-03
News reports located on this page = 2.

Call for more funding for children's Social Care

20 North West Local Government leaders responsible for children's Social Care have signed a letter to the Chancellor warning they need more money to tackle a growing crisis in the sector.

Cabinet members from:- Blackpool, Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Bury, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cumbria, Halton, Knowsley, Lancashire, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Warrington and Wirral have sent a cross party letter to Phillip Hammond pointing out that:-

There are more than 13,000 Looked After Children, a 20 year high, and the greatest number of children in care of any Region in England.

There has been a rise of 12% since 2013 alone, which is double the 6% increase in the rest of the country.

There has been a ₤45m increase in expenditure on residential care placements this year alone.

There were 90,930 referrals in 2016/17, driven by increases in domestic abuse and mental health issues.

Councillor Barry Kushner, Liverpool's Cabinet member for children's Social Care and lead member for the North West on the Children's Services Network of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, said:- "There is a growing crisis in children's Social Care in the North West and Councils are struggling to cope. We know that the sustainable solution to reducing children's Social Care is early intervention and stopping problems becoming crises. But the increasing costs of children's Social Care is driving our limited resources away from funding early help. This is not good for families because we can only intervene when a situation has escalated out of control, or for society as we often end up taking children into care, which is far more costly and damages their life chances.  It is not just us saying this, it is part of a national picture illustrated in the 'Turning the Tide' report produced by Action for Children, National Children's Bureau and the Children's Society.  As the Finance Bill makes its way through Parliament, we are asking the Government to respond to the crisis of children's Social Care, and provide adequate funding to meet these needs."

Councillor Bernie Mooney, Wirral Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said the effects of austerity continue to hurt those most in need; causing the numbers of children and families needing help to rise to unprecedented levels. "This level of need and demand for services from our most vulnerable children and families has never been seen before. Since the Government took office, there has been a steady reduction in early intervention services for children. Family support services have been cut to the bone and children's centres have been shutting at a rate of 6 per month in the UK and the situation is unsustainable and putting vulnerable young people at risk. It's time the Government listened to Councils across the Region all warning of the same risk with young people's lives by not acting now."

West Lancashire children help kick off SPAR Lancashire School Games

THE countdown to the largest youth sporting event in the county has officially begun after pupils from across West Lancashire celebrated the launch of this year's SPAR Lancashire School Games at a fun filled event.

Pupils from Westhead Lathom St James CE Primary School gathered at Preston based James Hall and Company Ltd in preparation for months of sporting competitions alongside the School Games Mascot, the Lancashire Lion, while pupils were also treated to an inspirational speech from Team GB race walker and world record holder Tom Bosworth.

Organised by Lancashire Sport Partnership, the SPAR Lancashire School Games comprises a series of inclusive sporting events that provides competitive opportunities for all School children across the county. The annual Disability Swimming Gala will take place, on 20 March 2018, at Lancaster's Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, while the county finals will be held at Blackpool's Stanley Park on 3 July 2018.

More than 3,500 children from Schools across Lancashire's 15 districts will now battle it out for a place at the county finals in 16 sports including gymnastics, football, athletics, mixed cricket and touch rugby.

To mark the programme launch, Team GB race walker and world record holder Tom Bosworth enlightened children with an inspiring speech about his career, sharing an insight into how sport has changed his life. Tom said:- "Any campaign or organisation that gets children interested in sport is priceless. I was introduced to professional sport by being influenced to get involved with athletics at a young age and I have never looked back. It has completely altered the course of my life, so if the School games programme influences just one child to take up sport, it will all be worth it."

The SPAR Lancashire School Games is the biggest School Games programme of its kind and is implemented by the county's School Games organisers. This year will mark the 12th year since the 1st SPAR Lancashire School Games, which is sponsored by James Hall and Company Ltd, the SPAR distributors for the North of England. Over ₤128m of National Lottery and Government funding has been invested into the School Games programme.

Children were also given a unique insight into life at SPAR with an exciting behind the scenes tour of the depot offices, warehouse and food production areas.

Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall and Company Ltd, said:- "The Lancashire School Games has become an integral part of the calendar for us here at SPAR. We look forward to it each year and are proud to be part of an initiative that is a catalyst for inspiring young people to take up competitive sport. The event was a huge success in getting Schools from across the county together to build momentum for the next few months of fun, competitive sport."

Chris Hart, School games organiser for West Lancashire, said:- "It is a pleasure to see so many children from West Lancashire involved with the annual SPAR Lancashire School Games. It's a programme of events I personally look forward to each year and 1 that's instrumental in helping achieve our goal of getting people active, keeping people moving and improving people's lives, while enabling children to have fun in sport. Thanks to James Hall and Company Ltd, the Lancashire School Games just keep evolving. This year an additional 1,500 children will participate, with more sports such as quick sticks and quad kids added to the timetable too. The games get bigger and brighter each year and team West Lancashire can't wait to get started again."

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