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@JamesBerryMP supports greater protection for police officers

James Giles

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Speaking in a debate on the issue of police officer safety yesterday, James Berry has stressed the need establish greater protections for police officers after figures revealed that there were 23,000 assault on police officers in 2015/2016.

In his speech, Berry praised Kingston’s Borough Commander and its officers for the role they have played in making Kingston the safest borough in London and spoke about his recent “Ride Along” with two response officers.  He welcomed the introduction of body-worn cameras in safeguarding officers on the beat, and emphasized the need for personal safety equipment to be more readily available to police officers, calls echoed by other MPs.  He stressed the importance of high quality training for police officers and suggested that the College of Policing had a greater role to play in this regard, hopefully moving to the status of aRoyal College status in recognition of the professional nature of policing.

Commenting, Mr Berry said:

“I stood on a platform of giving the police the tools they need to do their job. Since May 2015 the government has done so with the Psychoactive Substances Act, which should reduce the many assaults on police officers linked to psychoactive substances, and is trying to do so again with the Investigatory Powers Bill, ensuring the police’s powers stay up to date with the technology criminals are now using.  

“It was good to have another opportunity to put on record my thanks to our amazing police officers in Kingston who put themselves in danger day in, day out to keep us safe – in fact, safer than other Borough in London.”

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Stop cuts to schools and special needs children

James Giles

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The Council last night (7th February) passed the ‘SEND Transformation Plan’, despite local residents making clear that they had not been properly consulted.

The plans, which include raiding a potential £5 million from the budgets of mainstream schools, were put out to consultation over the Christmas Holidays, which resulted in a response rate of less than 2% of those with special needs children.

SEND Family Voices, a group who until recently worked with the Council on special needs matters, have described the plans as ‘fantasy’, saying: “The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high. The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.”

If 100 residents sign the ‘call in’ below, the decision is sent to Scrutiny Panel for an investigation.

Please sign to ensure that our schools and special needs children get the education they deserve. We demand better for SEND children.

CALL IN: SEND TRANSFORMATION

We, the undersigned, call in all recommendations from the 'SEND Transformation Plan' from the Childrens and Adults Care and Education Committee for review at Scrutiny Panel for the following reasons:

- Councillors were misled by officers who presented the item, who claimed the consultation was sent to all SEND parents, school governors, publicised on the website and via social media, which is gross distortion of the facts.
- The consultation was not published on Kingston Council's consultation portal until 3rd January, leaving less than three weeks for the public to reply through this forum.
- The 'easy read' consultation was not published until after most schools had broken up.
- The consultation did not meet government guidelines on good consultation.
- Out of Borough schools which have Kingston SEND pupils attending were not consulted on the proposals
- SEND partners and parents were not consulted before the plan was published
- The consultation only had 96 responses. There are 4,000+ CYP with SEND in Kingston - at best, the response rate was 2% and in reality, lower, which suggests there was a major flaw with the way in which consultation was carried out, leaving the Council open to legal challenge.
- The committee wilfully held the authority's constitution in contempt by agreeing to the sending the Written Statement of Action to Ofsted a mere two working days after the committee, despite the constitution being incredibly clear that a decision cannot be fully implemented until expiration of a call-in period.
- The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high.
- The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.

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