Protest petition over family services threat

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Anti-cuts protesters are collecting signatures outside Sheffield Town Hall tomorrow calling on the city council to protect threatened family support services.

Members of Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance will be on Pinstone Street from noon until 2pm with a petition.

The move follows a threat to a number of ‘non-critical’ early years services after a private contractor which was due to take them over pulled out.

Protesters fear that support workers’ jobs could now be lost and families will struggle with less help.

Sheffield Council is now looking to voluntary groups or other organisations to take over.

Martin Mayer, chairman of Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance, said the services ‘provide vital support to families, single parents, disabled children, and first-time mums’.

Mr Mayer said the alliance aims to collect 5,000 signatures on its petition, which would force a debate on the issue at Sheffield Council’s next full meeting on Wednesday, November 6.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: “Organisations were invited to apply for the contract to run these family support services, however those awarded the contracts refused them.

“This being the case, the council had no option but to review the tender and ask officers to explain to parents and carers what had happened and ask them to help us find creative solutions.”

■ Visit to sign the petition.

■ Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance is also holding a public meeting on the issue on Tuesday, October 29, from 7pm at ShipShape Health and Wellbeing Centre, The Stables, Sharrow Lane, Sharrow.