Stay of execution for Mapledown School services

Stay of execution for Mapledown School sevices

Stay of execution for Mapledown School sevices

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

Slashed activities which provide a “lifeline” to disabled children have been given a stay of execution for another year.

Conservatives have cancelled cuts to Mapledown School, in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, in the same week Barnet Borough Council’s cabinet were ordered to reconsider the “appalling” plans.

Labour councillor Barry Rawlings called in the decision to cut £45,000 worth of respite activities for Mapledown School’s disabled children at Wednesday night’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

But after it was passed, council leader Richard Cornelius said this had created a “constitutional mess” and had effectively frozen £1.9m of other its services.

This would have left the authority legally unable to pay any of its providers, including to children in care and the mental health team.

He said he was left with no other choice than to defer the Mapledown decision for 12 months.

He said: “This needs to be reversed. I am taking urgent action to avoid these services being wrecked.

“Cllr Rawlings and Labour have created a right constitutional mess and have effectively removed all funding from these organisations.

“In their attempts to make the funding of short breaks at Mapledown School a political football, never having highlighted or varied this particular saving in their budget amendment, they have recklessly made the situation much worse.”

Yesterday, the Tory group sparked fury when it refused to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the proposals before the May 22 election.

It will now be reviewed by the new Education Committee under the new council.

Cllr Cornelius continued: “Labour are faffing around calling for meetings, but what they’ve done needs urgent action and cannot wait for a committee meeting to be called.

“This is no longer just about Short Breaks, but also about children in care, mental health services and all sorts. I am ensuring that these services can continue.

“The Mapledown situation needs to be determined by the new committee and so I will ensure their funding, to maintain services at the existing level, for one year to give the school a chance to adjust and for alternate funding to be found.”

Labour leader Cllr Alison Moore said: “The decision to defer the cut is very welcome news - the parents and children will be delighted, but we still need to find a sustainable way forward for the specialist short breaks service.”

Mapledown’s services were slashed in the same year the Tories opted to reduce its council tax income by £1.3m - making an annual saving of just £7.40 for residents on the lowest band.

Parents campaigning against the cuts have been heavily supported by Labour MP candidate Sarah Sackman.

Kristine Canavan, whose son Liam attends the school, previously said: “We won’t give up the fight for our children.”

Comments (10)

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2:51pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

The behaviour of Barnet Tory members over the Mapledown issue is simply disgraceful. They have been forced into an embarrassing u turn, and are now seeking as usual to claim the credit for undoing their own policies and decisions, and worse still now trying to smear those who recalled this appalling cut in budget for review, ie the Labour party, supported, it should be noted by two of Cornelius' own Tory colleagues. Why did these two members abandon their own party line? Because unlike the rest of the Tory members, they were moved by their own consciences, and unlike Tory councillor John Hart, they do not insultingly dismiss vital respite care for the parents of severely disabled children as 'hand outs'.

What a repellant bunch they are.

Please, vote this lot out next month, while we have a chance to get rid of them, and to safeguard what is left of our council services.
The behaviour of Barnet Tory members over the Mapledown issue is simply disgraceful. They have been forced into an embarrassing u turn, and are now seeking as usual to claim the credit for undoing their own policies and decisions, and worse still now trying to smear those who recalled this appalling cut in budget for review, ie the Labour party, supported, it should be noted by two of Cornelius' own Tory colleagues. Why did these two members abandon their own party line? Because unlike the rest of the Tory members, they were moved by their own consciences, and unlike Tory councillor John Hart, they do not insultingly dismiss vital respite care for the parents of severely disabled children as 'hand outs'. What a repellant bunch they are. Please, vote this lot out next month, while we have a chance to get rid of them, and to safeguard what is left of our council services. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 12

3:01pm Sat 26 Apr 14

nlygo says...

oh shut up
oh shut up nlygo
  • Score: -11

6:14pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Barnet Parker says...

Cornelius you made the funding of Mapledown School a political football by slashing it to cut Council Tax by £22 a year - a move rejected by 97% in a poll in this paper after you said the residents would welcome it.

If you honestly believe that elected members (2 from your own party) voting in a council meeting has caused a constitutional crisis then you are saying that democracy has died. I hope that the residents of Barnet demonstrate to you that democracy is alive and well by voting you out on May 22.
Cornelius you made the funding of Mapledown School a political football by slashing it to cut Council Tax by £22 a year - a move rejected by 97% in a poll in this paper after you said the residents would welcome it. If you honestly believe that elected members (2 from your own party) voting in a council meeting has caused a constitutional crisis then you are saying that democracy has died. I hope that the residents of Barnet demonstrate to you that democracy is alive and well by voting you out on May 22. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 9

6:29pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

Mrs Angry

You clearly hope that, after 12 years, people will have forgotten the damage caused to the Borough (and in particular its finances) when Labour last had their snouts in the trough. True, the current Conservative administration have not covered themselves in glory on countless occasions, but a Labour led council (perhaps with the support of the sole LibDem representative of Jack Cohen) will not be any better.

Your loathing of the Conservatives makes you blind to the fact that Labour are completely and utterly useless. Under the leadership of Alison Moore, they have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The officers will continue to run rings around the councillors. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Mrs Angry You clearly hope that, after 12 years, people will have forgotten the damage caused to the Borough (and in particular its finances) when Labour last had their snouts in the trough. True, the current Conservative administration have not covered themselves in glory on countless occasions, but a Labour led council (perhaps with the support of the sole LibDem representative of Jack Cohen) will not be any better. Your loathing of the Conservatives makes you blind to the fact that Labour are completely and utterly useless. Under the leadership of Alison Moore, they have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The officers will continue to run rings around the councillors. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: -4

7:06pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Barnet Parker says...

Dave (there called you it)
I gather from previous posts you have made that you no longer live in the borough. You therefore probably don't talk to residents/neighbours on a regular basis like I do. The antics of Brian Coleman, the nonsense of parking charges, the closure of Church Farmhouse Museum, the increase in Councillors Allowances etc. etc. have knocked any memories of the last Labour Administration well into touch (See the GLA election and Brunswick Park By-Election results). And don't get involved with conversations with people on their views of the Councils new Customer Call Centre if you've got things to do in the day. I suspect there is an inbuilt majority for Conservatives in the way the wards are configured, but I also suspect people want a change as the response to this Mapledown cut has demonstrated. I hope the latter trumps the former - we'll see but I'm optimistic.
Dave (there called you it) I gather from previous posts you have made that you no longer live in the borough. You therefore probably don't talk to residents/neighbours on a regular basis like I do. The antics of Brian Coleman, the nonsense of parking charges, the closure of Church Farmhouse Museum, the increase in Councillors Allowances etc. etc. have knocked any memories of the last Labour Administration well into touch (See the GLA election and Brunswick Park By-Election results). And don't get involved with conversations with people on their views of the Councils new Customer Call Centre if you've got things to do in the day. I suspect there is an inbuilt majority for Conservatives in the way the wards are configured, but I also suspect people want a change as the response to this Mapledown cut has demonstrated. I hope the latter trumps the former - we'll see but I'm optimistic. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 6

10:01pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

Barnet Parker

I still have strong business connections with the Borough which is why I maintain my interest in all things Barnetian.

Some people will argue that it does not serve the best interests of democracy for the same party to be in power for too long. Perhaps after 12 years there should be a change in control. But Labour are not providing any positive reason for disaffected residents to vote for them. What will they do differently? How will they pay for it? At the moment, all Labour seem to be saying is “Vote for us because we’re not Conservative”. It’s hardly inspiring stuff.
Barnet Parker I still have strong business connections with the Borough which is why I maintain my interest in all things Barnetian. Some people will argue that it does not serve the best interests of democracy for the same party to be in power for too long. Perhaps after 12 years there should be a change in control. But Labour are not providing any positive reason for disaffected residents to vote for them. What will they do differently? How will they pay for it? At the moment, all Labour seem to be saying is “Vote for us because we’re not Conservative”. It’s hardly inspiring stuff. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: -2

7:07am Sun 27 Apr 14

You don't fool me says...

Voting for any candidate who is not CONselfservatives, with the exception of the criminal Coleman, is reason enough to vote for them. However voting Labour is by far the best thing to do for Barnet & Barnet residents.
Voting for any candidate who is not CONselfservatives, with the exception of the criminal Coleman, is reason enough to vote for them. However voting Labour is by far the best thing to do for Barnet & Barnet residents. You don't fool me
  • Score: 0

10:13am Sun 27 Apr 14

Adele Winston says...

Let's forget party politics and remember that this week, a devoted mother at the end of her tether appears to have murdered her 3 seriously disabled children. This is not about electioneering but about children who are in need of help.
Let's forget party politics and remember that this week, a devoted mother at the end of her tether appears to have murdered her 3 seriously disabled children. This is not about electioneering but about children who are in need of help. Adele Winston
  • Score: 5

12:20pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

To equate the tragedy in South London with the Mapledown funding issue is absurd and offensive.
To equate the tragedy in South London with the Mapledown funding issue is absurd and offensive. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: -10

11:34am Thu 1 May 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Just seen these further comments: I think your last remark, DCMD is unfair. If you had attended the meeting at which the parents from Mapledown triedto explain - to the stony faced indifference of several Tory councillors - what vital support was at risk, you would feel very differently. No decent person could listen to Mrs Canavan's description of her daily life and responsibilities and remain unmoved. Sadly three Tory councillors were exactly that, and refused to move the decision back, and the next day Cllr Hart made the most objectionable remark, comparing the support at risk as 'handouts'. Now that, DCMD, really is offensive.

Without the extra support that this funding enables, parents of children with severe and complex disabilities will come under intolerable pressure, without the respite care they need. No one could predict a tragic occurrence such as happened in South London, but we have a duty to make sure such parents have as much support as possible.
Just seen these further comments: I think your last remark, DCMD is unfair. If you had attended the meeting at which the parents from Mapledown triedto explain - to the stony faced indifference of several Tory councillors - what vital support was at risk, you would feel very differently. No decent person could listen to Mrs Canavan's description of her daily life and responsibilities and remain unmoved. Sadly three Tory councillors were exactly that, and refused to move the decision back, and the next day Cllr Hart made the most objectionable remark, comparing the support at risk as 'handouts'. Now that, DCMD, really is offensive. Without the extra support that this funding enables, parents of children with severe and complex disabilities will come under intolerable pressure, without the respite care they need. No one could predict a tragic occurrence such as happened in South London, but we have a duty to make sure such parents have as much support as possible. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 4

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