Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, responds to the announcement of a new government programme to protect children at risk of exploitation.
“With the vast majority of refugee children aged 16 or 17, this change in funding needs to be followed through so that care leaving costs, which are equal to or greater than those of non-UASC, are fully funded, as this remains the main barrier to councils taking on responsibility for ever-growing numbers."
“The shocking surge in children and young people tragically involved in knife crime and gang activity only reinforces the need to invest in local services to support and work with children and young people to help them stay safe."
“Through programmes like One Public Estate, councils have shown that they are best-placed to lead efforts to make better use of public assets, such as releasing unused or surplus land for housing, and are committed to bringing forward sites to ensure that enough homes and the necessary infrastructure are built to meet local needs."
“It is great that the influential Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has backed the LGA’s call for new funding to be invested in children’s services in the forthcoming Spending Review"