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So which way will RCT Cabinet jump on Wednesday?

January 6, 2014 5:30 PM

In the second of two meetings this coming Wednesday RCT Labour Cabinet will be making decisions on the first round of suggested cuts following a consultation period which saw substantial public anger in particular over a scheme which would see nursery education for 3 year olds cut from full to part time. It would also see home to school transport and school dinners removed for this age group.

It would appear that there are several possible options open to them in relation to this particular proposal.

Of course within these there are all sorts of permutations involving provision of meals, and transport.

The report would appear to suggest that the first option is still the one preferred by officers at least. The report appears to ignore any arguments against and the equality impact assessment states that there is no reason to not press on.

The second option is one which many people are expecting, including us. It will give more time for other arrangements to be put in place and for schools to look at options for providing wrap around care.

They could, however, surprise us all and do the decent thing and scrap the proposal completely. This does seem unlikely given the stubborn attitude that has been shown by Cabinet Members thus far, although they may have at last seen the light.

Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant seemed to suggest he had insider information in a tweet a few days ago. On 3rd January in response to a query from a resident about the second round cuts to leisure services he said "Do make sure you respond to the consultation. The public response last time did make a difference."

Really? What consultation is that and what difference has it made? Does he have information us mere mortals are not party to, or is he just coming out with the usual Labour party nonsense?

The last few months have been extremely worrying for those school staff whose jobs are directly affected and also for parents who do not know what childcare arrangements they may have to make - or indeed where they can find a provider.

At least come Wednesday they should know which direction things are moving in, even if it is still far from clear how they will progress should the proposals go ahead.