Friday, 18 March 2011

The 'Big Society' coming to a town near you!

I went to a meeting on Wednesday night at Mullion Comprehensive School about the threat of closure to their Youth and Community Centre, which also houses a nursery. I heard that the Centre (which has been run as a charity) is in financial difficulty and may be closed in the future if funding is not found.

The Centre sounds like it provides a great service to the Community, getting kids involved in activities that they would not otherwise have access to and providing childcare for parents who need to work. Councillor Caroline Rule, who chaired the meeting, told us that ‘Council funding is drying up’ for such services and in no way should parents expect the Council to help financially.

In fact, the Councillor (who I was told afterwards is a member of the Cabinet who recently voted through the cuts to Cornwall’s public services) seemed to be relishing the notion that parents should pull together and fundraise for their own facilities. She suggested running a disco, which is not the kind of sustainable income needed to fund such a Centre.

I was shocked to think that people who already pay tax on their income, and Council Tax, are now being told that they have to fundraise to provide their local nursery and Youth Club services. In most families both parents have to work to survive these days and have little time to put into volunteering for such projects, however much they would like to.

I am extremely angry that this may be a sign of things to come if people just accept the lie that our Public Services can no longer be funded by the Council or Government. I am going to be marching in London on 26th March with the TUC and thousands of others for an alternative to the cuts we are facing to our services. Our children are worth investing in because they are the ones who will build our future world and I hope they make it fairer than this one.

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