£90 million investment plans for children, families and young people
1 November 2019More than £90 million could be invested to help support children and young people to get the best start in life and achieve their full potential.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has set out its ambitious investment plans as part of the Play Your Part engagement on its next four-year Council Plan.
The Council is looking to spend £65 million on children and families services by 2024, which is 13% more than its current budget.
This includes investing in looked after children and children with special educational needs and disabilities, improving domestic violence services, investing in mental health support and providing extra funding to improve school performance.
It is also looking to invest £26.4 million in school facilities, youth provision, housing for children in our care and play areas.
Cllr Nicole Meardon, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We’re really lucky that, overall, west Cheshire is a great place to grow up, with good schools, safe communities and an attractive environment.
“Children and families are supported to be safe and our child protection services are rated good by Ofsted.
“But there are a number of challenges to tackle, including child poverty, a gap between how well children do at school depending on how well off they are and how we can improve young people’s transition from education to work.
“We have more children in our care than the national average and need to look at the emotional health and wellbeing of our young people as we have higher rates of self-harm and mental health admissions than the national average.
“There is also a gap between demand for services for children with special educational needs and disabilities and the funding available for those services.
“We have a number of ideas about what we can do to help tackle the challenges ahead and are also asking residents how they can play their part and work with us.”
Ideas for how children and families could play their part include thinking about how to stay healthy, thinking about their wellbeing, making the best of opportunities at school and college and staying safe.
Play Your Part is open for comments and ideas until 5 December. The engagement also looks at four other key challenges the borough faces between 2020 and 2024. These include helping more adults to live longer, healthier and happier lives, supporting our local economy to grow and deliver good jobs with fair wages for our residents, making our neighbourhoods even better places to call home and tackling the climate emergency.
For more information visit Play Your Part.
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