LiveOakleigh School parents beg for reversal of 'cruel' £38,000 cuts to their disabled children

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Cllr Reuben Thompstone has said there's no need to discuss the matter as funding as been temporarily restored. The matter will be reviewed at the next full council meeting of July 15.

Contracts have been rolled over until March 2015.


We're now hearing a motion about the short breaks scheme from Labour committee member Cllr Agnes Slocombe.

"Why is it we always hit the ones with less money and the vulnerable ones? What is the matter with us?" She asked.






"As a carer things are tough, the heartbreak is too difficult to describe," she continued.

"Disabilities are just one thing. It can't be put right with a ramp and a rail.

"There's nowhere else for our children to go.

"I'm usually a private person, I don't impart information easily. I'n here to impart knowledge, because with knowledge comes understanding and responsibility.

"You need to understand the consequences of the decisions you're making.

"I urge you to give these children the respect they need."


Cllr Reuben Thompstone has just asked Mrs Charles to stop speaking again.

"How can you tell her to stop speaking? You have to know how we feel", came cries from the public gallery.


She said: "My children are the people in my world I respect the most, the cope with the most enermous struggles without a moment of self pity.

I love my children more than you can understand and I want to look after them at home, before they die, which is inevitable."


Cllr Reuben Thompstone just stopped Mrs Charles from speaking as she details her grandchildren's disabilities.

He gave councillors the chance to ask questions - Cllr Rebecca Challice asked Mrs Charles to go on.

Cries of 'disgusting' from the public gallery.



Grandmother Rose Charles looks after Sophie, 7 and Ben, 16.

Ben has 15 medications each morning; Sophie has 7.

She cares for them because their mother is too ill to look after them.


"That one week or ten days is a pearl in the life of parents like these, It's that pearl that gives you the chance to recharge properly." He added.


Parent Mark Holden-Aikhomu has told the committee his son is autistic and has severe learning difficulties.

He said: "When you have children with special needs it's physically draining, emotionally draining. To have to take care of someone that you love - and you would die for.

"Parents and carers go into depression. Your sleep is affected. My son wakes up at all hours of the day and night. It's like going back to when you have a baby who needs feeding every few hours.

"This goes on, and on, for years."


He had to cut down his hours at the BBC after his son was born - but says OOPS has helped him make some positive contribution to society.

He added: "I implore you to ensure it recieves funding going forward."

A round of applause.


Parent Mr White is speaking now. His eight-year-old son is non-verbal and doesn't know how to respond around other children.

"It provides care for the most vulnerable people in the borough, without question. These children are almost impossible to manage.

"We can't just take our children to the local playground. Many of our children are not mobile, or have various challenging behaviour difficulties.

"Taking them anywhere is fraught with dangers and difficulties."


She added: "We recognise there's not a bottomless put of money. But protecting the vulnerable people in our community is the least we can do."



Sarah Sackman, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Finchley, is talking now.

"This is excellent news for the parents, and the families, so let me have this on record we welcome this.

"But it's unfortunate that it's come to this, it's taken concerted effort, hours and hours of concerted time, families who are in any event strained.

"They've had to repeatedly write to the council leader in order to get this answer. It shouldn't have taken that.

"They have to fight for every bit of funding, every bit of support for their children.

"As a council and as a community we should be there to support them. Unfortuantely, that hasn't always been the case.

"The fact that short breaks contracts were cuts - some organisations are still hurting as a result of those cuts.

"They actively raise charitable funds, but plugging the gap the short breaks cuts will leave, is a challenge.

"While a short term solution for some schemes is welcome, this council has to do better when it comes to commissioning short breaks contracts.

"It's caused a huge amount of distress, I've seen it firsthand working with these parents, we must do better."


Cllr Thompstone has proposed to restore money to the OOPS Playscheme, a unanimous majority has agreed


Cllr Thompstone has just admitted the OOPS scheme does some 'fantastic' work


Cllr Rueben Thompstone has just asked for a bit of quiet in the public gallery. The noise is mainly coming from the disabled children in the public gallery, who are here with their parents.


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