Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Campaign to Save NSPCC Surrey branch

I have written the following open letter to Andrew Flanagan, Chief Executive of the NSPCC:

Dear Mr Flanagan


I am writing in relation to the planned closure of the Surrey Branch of the NSPCC in Leatherhead. I have spoken to Julie Cole, NSPCC Regional head of Services in South London and the South East, in an effort to better understand the rationale. I have also met with local campaigners opposed to the closure, who have raised concerns about the loss of the witness support and therapeutic services for victims of child abuse.

I understand that the re-designing of services is an attempt to target areas of highest deprivation. Or in the words of Wes Cuell, NSPCC director of children services:

‘We want to reach the areas of highest deprivation. That means moving to bigger urban areas. ’
The Guardian, 15 February 2010

I would be interested to know what data the NSPCC have used to determine the re-allocation of services in accordance with this strategy. There is widespread scepticism about politicised priorities that underlay the last government’s reliance on deprivation indices, including their tendency to measure median deprivation which ignores acute pockets of deprivation in affluent areas.

In relation to Surrey, I would also draw your attention to the Hidden Surrey Report, by Dr Helen Bowcock for the Surrey Community Foundation, which makes this point very clearly. I attach a copy. You will see from Appendix 1 that seven wards in Surrey have double the national average level of child poverty. I hope there is still an opportunity to save the Surrey branch, and I would urge you to look below the surface to ensure that, in determining your strategy, you are relying on a truly objective assessment of local needs.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Raab


Lady Stum said...

I support your campaign, it would be a sad loss to some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Best Wishes

Lady S.

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