Councillors refuse to hold special meeting about cuts to disabled school

Councillors refuse to hold special meeting about cuts to disabled school

Councillors refuse to hold special meeting about cuts to disabled school

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter - north London

Councillors have refused to call a special council meeting to reconsider “appalling” cuts to a disabled school.

Barnet Borough Council’s scrutiny committee this week voted in favour of asking the council's cabinet to reconsider plans to slash after-school activities at Mapledown School, in Claremont Road, Cricklewood.

But even though an emergency meeting was initially planned before the May 22 election, the authority has now issued a statement saying it will not take place until June 23.

This means councillors will be unable to vote to overturn the cuts, which many parents have been campaigning against.

Activities at the disabled school were slashed by £45,000 in the same year councillors voted to cut council tax by around 23p per household.

Cllr Alison Moore is among those against the cuts. She said: “There is absolutely no reason why a special meeting cannot be called – other committee meetings are taking place during the purdah period with equally contentious decisions on their agenda.

“I will be asking the council for the legal advice that they are relying on to prevent this meeting from taking place.

“It is imperative that this decision is looked at again straight away as the cuts are already taking their toll on the children and families affected.

“At the very least the decision should be referred to the first possible scheduled meeting which would be the full council meeting on the 2nd June and not to a committee almost a month later.”

Parents and councillors have previously branded the cuts “appalling” and have vowed to continue fighting for their children.

A statement from Barnet Borough Council said: “Due to there being no scheduled meetings of the cabinet resources committee, purdah restrictions and the implementation of the new committee system form of governance from 2 June 2014, this matter will be referred to the first meeting of the children's, education, libraries and safeguarding committee on June 23, 2014.”

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