Cuts to Mapledown School, in Cricklewood, to be sent back to Barnet Borough Council cabinet

This Is Local London: 'We'll continue to fight for the children' - Mapledown School cuts to be sent back to drawing board 'We'll continue to fight for the children' - Mapledown School cuts to be sent back to drawing board

Plans to slash play activities at a disabled school have been sent back to the drawing board after parents’ impassioned pleas.

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

Money will be cut by £45,000 in the same year the authority opted to reduce its council tax income by £1.3m - making an annual saving of just £7.40 for residents on the lowest band.

Pulses rose as parents of the school’s disabled children made heartfelt statements explaining the impact the “terrible” cuts will have on their quality of life.

The decision was sent back to cabinet with a majority vote of 6:4, with councillors Jack Cohen, Barry Rawlings, Alison Moore, Brian Sallinger, Maureen Braun and Geoffrey Johnson voting for it.

They will now call an emergency meeting before the May 22 election.

Labour's parliamentary candidate for Finchley Sarah Sackman told the committee: “This is not a luxury, it’s a necessity and essential to the students and families caring for them.

“We know that for the children with severe disabilities, there are no alternatives to these cuts and short break.”

Before the cuts were made, Councillor Rueben Thompstone, in charge of the borough's schools consulted the head teacher and parents.

But last night, he came under fire from Cllr Jack Cohen after he admitted last night he had not read the response to avoid prejudicing his final decision.

Cllr Cohen told the Times Series: “The cuts are appalling, the whole thing is astonishing. The committee made the right decision. I hope the cabinet reverses this and common sense prevails.”

Committee chairman Cllr Hugh Rayner did not vote for the proposal because he felt another suitable alternative had been put forward.

He said a motion to ask the first available committee to look at the matter as a whole after June 2 was a “much more efficient” way of dealing with the matter.

Cllr Hart, who also did not vote, said: “Why should I? We need to make economies. My brother was disabled and there was nothing available for him when he was a boy.

“I suggested there are other ways to raise the money. People are too used to handouts nowadays.”

Speaking after the decision, parent Kristine Canavan said: “It’s pretty exciting. I know it’s not a done deal but it’s a start, and I really appreciate them listening to us.

“We feel like we’re getting somewhere. All of the parents are on the same page as us and I am pleased we managed to get together to fight this.

“This is far from over – we'll keep fighting it for our children.”

The Times Series has contacted Cllr Rueben Thompstone for a comment.

Comments (3)

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12:44pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Cllr Hart, who also did not vote, said: “Why should I? We need to make economies. My brother was disabled and there was nothing available for him when he was a boy.I suggested there are other ways to raise the money. People are too used to handouts nowadays.”
Well there you have the Tory ethos in a nutshell ( it doesn't matter which Councillor Hart it was as they are both Tories) "My family didn't get something so I'm going to make sure nobody else does" Helping disabled children is not a 'handout' it's what you are **** well there for.
Tory = Knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Cllr Hart, who also did not vote, said: “Why should I? We need to make economies. My brother was disabled and there was nothing available for him when he was a boy.I suggested there are other ways to raise the money. People are too used to handouts nowadays.” Well there you have the Tory ethos in a nutshell ( it doesn't matter which Councillor Hart it was as they are both Tories) "My family didn't get something so I'm going to make sure nobody else does" Helping disabled children is not a 'handout' it's what you are **** well there for. Tory = Knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 7

12:49pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Mike NW7 says...

Cllr Hart does not back the Mapledown parents and appears to be living in a 1930s time warp.

Mill Hill ward voters please note what Cllr Hart said and did last night.
Cllr Hart does not back the Mapledown parents and appears to be living in a 1930s time warp. Mill Hill ward voters please note what Cllr Hart said and did last night. Mike NW7
  • Score: 10

1:58pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Thanks Mike, I wondered which one it was, I live in Mill Hill and as the father of a disabled child I do hope he comes canvassing some time soon...
Thanks Mike, I wondered which one it was, I live in Mill Hill and as the father of a disabled child I do hope he comes canvassing some time soon... Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 6

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