I’ve been working late this evening so I’ve only just got back to the lair, and I’m feeling angry and depressed. It isn’t anything tic-related this time. It’s about a consultation meeting organised by the Council about cuts to services in the local area which I took a group of children to earlier.
At the meeting the children were told that services for them would be cut by 30%, and they were asked what should go. The meeting was held moments away from the scene of a shooting that happened last night in which a five-year-old girl was seriously injured. This is the context in which children in the area were being asked to wield the axe on the already very limited local services available to them.
I fully believe that children and young people should be involved in decision making but these cuts are going to happen whatever thoughtful comments and powerful testimony these children and young people make, and what they say will be unscrupulously used by the Council to justify the cuts they make.
As we walked to the meeting the younger children were concerned about how other people there would respond to me shouting, ‘Biscuit’, and when we arrived they even reminded me to explain. Afterwards I worried that I’d wasted their playtime taking them to something that was just a Council exercise, but they seemed less bothered and had at least enjoyed tucking in to all the biscuits and crisps on offer.