Children’s services must be top priority
READERS may recall last August Ofsted published their report on the county council’s children’s services.
It assessed them as inadequate, their lowest rating, and as putting children at risk.
I really hope the new cabinet member responsible for children’s services will be able to steer through the recently agreed improvement plan.
It should include the 20 per cent increase in funding which is recommended by the council itself and it should make these services a top priority.
I am appalled to learn that children’s services have been under-resourced by 20 per cent.
Let’s hope when the lead inspector for the Ofsted inspection team returns to assess what progress has been made the outcome will be deemed favourable.
Chairman Chesham and Amersham Constituency Labour Party
Latchmoor Way Chalfont St Peter
improve the village. There would in any case never be a need to consider an office in Amersham or Chalfont St Peter as per the chairman’s statement, unless there is an amalgamation.
There are empty shops and offices in our village that can be rented or there would be the top floor of the library, after buying out the present tenant.
As the clerk is also retiring, next year, there is a chance for someone young and active to apply for the part-time position of parish clerk.
I say part-time because this is what it was up to about two years ago.
The village would be fortunate to get someone similar to the part time clerk in Seer Green. I think a young mother with school age children would be ideal.
The village needs to be informed about everything that goes on at Parish Council meetings.
This is normal in all the parish councils around us, but people in Chalfont St Giles have been kept in the dark for many years.
If people know what goes on then they will be more willing to get involved in looking after the village and thus creating a real community spirit.
I also hope that in May some of our shop owners will become parish councillors. We need our few shops and they should get involved in decision making about the village.
It really does not take up much time and almost anyone can do it.
Bottrells Lane Chalfont St Giles
how much the new Beaconsfield cycle network had cost Buckinghamshire Council taxpayers.
I can confirm that the costs of this scheme have come from a government grant and not from local council taxpayers.
The nature of the grant means that it has to be spent on schemes to encourage sustainable travel, such as cycling.
I certainly make no apology for schemes to encourage and enable more people to cycle rather than use the car for local journeys.
Cycling not only saves money, it reduces congestion and encourages greater fitness.
I fully understand that cycling schemes are controversial for some people, but I am proud that we are able to support healthier means of transport.
MARTIN TETT Leader of Buckinghamshire
Court or up to six months’ imprisonment by a magistrates’ court.
According to YouGov, most parents would leave a 12-year-old child alone at home for an hour.
Parents exercise their own judgement using knowledge of their own child’s maturity and capability to decide whether it is appropriate to leave their child alone at home, and how long for.
Organisations such as the NSPCC, gov.uk and mumsnet offer guidance on the issue.
Children mature at different rates so a “one size fits all” rule wouldn’t work.
An 11-year-old who is a parent’s carer, and responsible for shopping and cooking, will be more mature than many of their peers.
Specifying an age at which a child cannot be left alone could lead to unnecessary convictions or cautions.
Take a situation where an 11-year-old is left at home while a parent collects a sibling from a party.
Traffic on the return journey is heavy, and the parent is not back at the planned time. Should such a parent – who in all other aspects of the parental role is providing a child with the support, love and home it needs – be criminalised, while the parent who regularly leaves their 12-year-old alone for hours at a time is not?
Surely further legislation is an example of the ‘nanny state’, removing parents’ right to make informed decisions about their children?
CAROLINE DUNNE Consultant Solicitor