Last nights full Council meeting saw the debate and vote concerning the future budgetary direction for T&W. The Conservative budget was the caring alternative to Labour - focusing on CSE investigation funding and protecting our most vulnerable.
Cllr Nicola Lowery stated: “There have been some commendable improvements made within the quality of services delivered to protect our young people and the commitment to tackling CSE from this Council. However within the Alternative budget the Conservative group proposes to create a reserve of £250,000 to fund further investigation into CSE and to the provision of two additional social workers to increase the resources available and effectiveness of the Council’s CATE team.
“As a member of CYP Scrutiny I am reassured that good progress is being made by the Council and agencies involved. However, additional investment to protect young people that go missing from home or care and a commitment to further investigation will inform our understanding and ability to more extensively and successfully monitor the scale of CSE within our Borough. Further investment into two additional social workers or CSE practitioners would enable to team to increase their capacity to more proactively be involved in education, the prevention and raising awareness of CSE with children, families and professionals within the Borough.
“I imagine all members of this chamber are in support of the help and care Telford Street Pastors offer our residents and their invaluable contribution in protecting our young people. In recognition of this the Conservative Group propose to contribute £5,000 per annum to ensure this expands their resources which will support their ability to responding practically to the problems of crime and safety within our communities, as well as continuing to contribute to preventative work that has an ability to make a direct influence and contribution to inform intelligence to tackle CSE.
“It is important to emphasise our commitment to investigating these crimes andacknowledge the significant concerns around the sexual exploitation of children in Telford. This investment not only sends an important to these predators but also to the most vulnerable members of our community that we are doing all possible to prevent such abhorrent crimes”.
Labour, Liberal Deomcrat and Independent Councillors failed to support this caring alternative, instead opting for more borrowing and debt, for which residents will be liable in future years.