“One child living in poverty should be one too many”

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Here in the UK we are now seeing and experiencing unprecedented cuts to children’s services and to their life opportunities.

We have 4 million children living in poverty, a disgraceful figure for any well-developed nation, as even one child living in poverty should be one too many. Even our schools in Sheffield are now struggling to survive, due to austerity cuts and the unfairness in the distribution of how Government funds our Sheffield schools.

To add to this youth services have been hacked to pieces and in England alone, 214 playgrounds have been shut down with a further 234 under planned threat of closure. Play is an essential component to children’s health, learning, development, happiness and belonging. Yet England has so much to learn from Wales in how it prioritises it’s children and play. Wales is the first country in the world to have done this. An incredible achievement and a well-deserved accolade indeed. Every local authority in Wales is mandated to ‘secure sufficient play opportunities in its area for children’ as outlined in measures they adhere too passed by the Welsh parliament in 2010. When ongoing austerity measures are being considered, local authorities should not take quick, near sighted decisions, on children’s services, inclusive of decisions about cutting children’s play opportunities, to save funding.

Patrick Meleady

Sheffield