Budget views live webchat

By on 26/10/2011 in Budget Views

A webchat, featuring Chief Executive Stephen Hughes, is being staged tomorrow (October 27) as part of Birmingham City Council's 2012/13 budget consultation process.

The chat is part of Birmingham's biggest ever budget consultation, which also features public meetings, an online survey and the ability to express views by text message and letter.

Anyone wishing to make their views known or to ask Stephen any questions about the budget-setting for 2012/13 is invited to take part.

The chat is due to begin at 2.15pm and will last for one hour. Time is limited, so as many points as possible will be covered.

All views and opinions made during the chat will be fed into the decision-making process, which will lead to Birmingham's 2012/13 budget being finalised in the new year after consultation closes on January 8.

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  1. Sylvia Owen says:

    Regarding the proposed closure of Charles House. I think Stephen Hughes holds a very blinkered and naive view in thinking foster/family homes can offer the same level of specialised care that respite centres such as Charles House can provide.
    Respite care is NOT the same as care provided for LAC children (Looked After Children); it provides specialised care, creative stimulation and peer social integration in a safe, purpose built environment such as Charles House (NOT an institution which was popular in Dickensian times). The needs of these children cannot be met in a foster/family home no matter how ‘stable’ that environment may be because it would be financially impossible to equip every foster home with the facilities that are vital in meeting their needs. The majority of these children already have a stable home environment and their parents would no doubt find your comments extremely insulting.
    Respite also give parents the opportunity to spend quality time with other family members, particularly siblings as they often feel that the special needs child in the family appears to often get more attention than they do through no fault of their parents as the special needs child often needs 24/7 care. This is another reason why dedicated caring parents may also need respite provided by Charles House and other similar organisations.
    May I just add that if you have ever stepped inside the home of a typical family with a special needs child, like I do daily in my work as an autism worker, you may see that most of the house walls and floors are bare; there are no shelves or cupboards where every day items may be stored just in case they may harm the child or they themselves may harm other family member with the objects, there may be security gates on every door to prevent the child from dashing into a household danger zones or outside.
    As you will probably agree that in many ways this does not sound like your typical family home and yet I have never met such dedicated caring parents who do an excellent job in providing a warm, happy and emotionally stable home for their much loved children. All these children need is regular peer social and creative stimulation in a suitably equipped environment outside the family home and in turn all these parents and siblings are asking for is a much needed break to help them recharge their batteries as a family and to be able to spend quality time together. Is this too much to ask for?

  2. Alan says:

    Interesting that Mr Hughes states 81 compulsory redundancies (so far) yet it says elsewhere on this site that the figure is higher.

    http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2011/09/workforce-figures-a-clarification/

    • geoffc says:

      Alan. The figure on the link you posted includes staff within schools. The figure quoted by Stephen Hughes refers to staff directly employed by Birmingham City Council and therefore excluding schools.

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