There were cheers from the public gallery and Labour councillors as Councillor Andy Cartwright (Longbridge) presented the 2,684 signature petition to save Charles House at a full council meeting on Tuesday.
Councillor Cartwright also raised the following question n the chamber, to Councillor Les Lawrence (Northfield), cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families. Question from Councillor Andy Cartwright:
Charles House received an outstanding ofsted report last week.
It can hold more young people than the city refer to them. The families
that use this service all state the staff and facilities are excellent and
are fretting with the thought of closure.
There has been much speculation over recent weeks about the potential
closure, So can you put an end to that speculation and let us know what you
propose to do about this specialist residential facility?
Answer from Councillor Lawrence:
I am fully aware of the recent Ofsted judgement on Charles house and I
congratulate all those involved on what is an excellent achievement for the
third time. I am also aware how important the service is to families who
use it and I will be meeting representatives of those who have a place
currently later this week. Senior Managers are currently looking at the
difficulties that have bee experienced in gaining a place to improve the
current occupancy levels. I can reassure you that all comments that have
and are still being made as part of the consultation will be fully
considered once the consultation period comes to an end.
Cllr Cartwright told us: “I still feel that [Cllr Lawrence] did not give much
hope to the families and they are the ones that know first hand the
qualities that Charles House gives them.”
The Charles House parents are to meet with Cllr Lawrence tomorrow.
More details when we get them.