Letters to the Editor: '˜Service crucial for vulnerable children'

A selection of letters to the MK Citizen this week.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 6:00 am
A selection of letters to the MK Citizen this week

Milton Keynes Council is running a consultation that could result in the closures of all Communication Departments across the borough. Although it is not the council’s preferred solution it is a danger. Communication departments exist in a few senior schools and generally they support children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The department that supports my son is exemplary; without the dedicated staff my son’s school life would have been radically different and he would not have achieved above average GCSE results. I believe he would have been constantly bullied and as a consequence have been unable to access the full curriculum. Departments offer a sanctuary for their members when they suffer sensory overload; a safe environment their unique talents can develop in.

Normally when running a consultation, the aim is to publicise it to increase the participation. I have learnt that SEND-IAS team at the council announced the consultation on their Facebook page. I do not follow the team, moreover I did not know they had a page on Facebook. I would have thought that at least, the council would have contacted the parents of every child affected by the changes, and informed PACA and the local NAS branch. If I was not contacted by my son’s school I would not have known of the consultation.

The council is running three drop-in meetings at some of the senior schools with departments between 3 and 6 pm. Although the timings are not appropriate for working parents, I will be taking the afternoon off work to attend the meeting at my son’s school. At least that way the council can’t say that on-one was interested in the consultation. Several years ago the council abolished most departments in primary schools that supported children with dyslexia, dyscalia and mild learning difficulties. I understand it is very difficult these days to get these disabilities recognised formally by the council by a statement of educational need. Moreover, by abolishing the departments the expertise concentrated in each department was lost and replaced the good intentions of individual teachers.

Hopefully this won’t happen with Communication Departments.

Dr Andy Evans

by email

Residents Association

Action plan for Tinkers

On April 28 the Tinkers Bridge Residents’ Association formally presented its Action Plan to representatives of Milton Keynes Council, Woughton Community Council and Your MK. The Action Plan is based upon consultations with the residents; its focus is upon improvement of Tinkers Bridge as a community NOT by demolition but rather through refurbishment of housing and environment and better use of resources. Councillor Hannah O’Neill gave her support to this expression of the community’s preferences. Councillor Peter Orme, Chair of Woughton Community Council, welcomed the Plan and hoped that it would become part of the Neighbourhood Plan. Yvonne Field of the government’s First Steps programme praised the Plan as an exemplar of community planning. Members of the Residents’ Association, led by Chairman John Orr, explained the origins of the initiative and asked for the practical help from the authorities that will enable implementation of the Plan. The evening closed with a successful social occasion.

Rosemary O’Day

by email

The time is now

Protect the rural land

Conservatives hold the Brickhills but fail in gaining control of MK!

So, will the Conservatives now protect our village and stop sitting on the National planning fence?

The ball is now clearly in the local politician’s court to stop unsustainable development here in Bow Brickhill and defend our Neighbourhood Plan up to Ministerial levels!

NO! to Tilbrook Pastures 36 units,

NO! to 184 units on site U27,

NO! to 2,000 units proposed by Gladman Gallagher,

NO! to U22 and 800 plus units NB -all within a mile of all your home! Protect our RURAL COMMUNITIES before its too late.

It’s easier to destroy communities than create them!

Alan Preen

by email

Bees are essential

Stand up for our insects

Bees are an important part of our food chain. Without them the human race will suffer.

If the bees are gone, who will pollinate our plants, trees and crops.

Please, please do not allow this greedy and avaricious government ruin our lives for the sake of lining their own pockets.

Kevin O’Dea

Walnut Tree

Mental health matters

Improve the care for all

We can all agree that people should be involved in the decisions that affect their lives.

But when it comes to mental health services for people living with mental illness, a lot of people feel like they have no influence over the care and support they receive.

One in four people experience a mental health problem each year.

I have been caring for someone affected by mental illness for many years and in that time I have seen good as well as not so good care from local services.

I believe I have a valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t.

This is why, with the help of Rethink Mental Illness, I have contacted my Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to offer my help to make sure mental health services in Milton Keynes are the best they can be.

The CCG is in charge of commissioning the health services we all rely on in the local area.

By working together, we can design better services that better meet people’s needs. This will improve the lives for everyone with mental illness.

Concerned parent

name and address supplied

It’s 2016, not 1970

I want a city that leads

I read an article in The Guardian about Milton Keynes – a rather long article – and its headline, ‘the struggle for the soul of Milton Keynes’. Although through the article it references the positivity for Milton Keynes, I found myself choking on my afternoon crumpet as I came to a quote from the increasingly self-promoting Linda Inoki representing the Xplain organisation. Sadly, the article as well as her quotes and those of her group, puts Milton Keynes is a terrible light and AGAIN one seemingly afraid of growth. Please can someone explain to Xplain that we dont live in the 70s now, the vision then isnt valid for today’s world and we cannot live in this way – and the council, journalists from The Guardian need to stop listening to this puff and bitterness. I am incredibly passionate about Milton Keynes and protecting its heritage but also I want this to be a city that leads and not follows. I was delighted to read your online article online today about the new 100ft development – fantastic! This is what we need – and sorry for those that wanted MK to be a ‘flat’ city – yes that was their vision years ago – again this shows we DO need to grow. Let’s start listening to the majority and giving a balanced view of the people of Milton Keynes and, unlike The Guardian’s article, show what Milton Keynes needs to stay one of the best places to live in the UK in 2016 – not 1970!

Ruth Campbell

by email

care for your children

Don’t leave youngsters

I was in Westcroft today doing my local Aldi shop with my four year old and two year old. As we were putting our shopping in the car I noticed the car next to me the window was open and I saw a baby sleeping in the back in a car seat, probably about six months old. I waited 15 minutes see if the mum or dad would be back no one came. I went into the B and M store and told a staff memeber there who then informed her manager and they put a tannoy out but no joy. Then the manager went to the car and stood and waited for the mun to come which took about in total 30 minutes. I have taken a photo of the car and also with the baby in the car aswell.Just a reminder to parents that this is appalling behaviour being a mum myself I found it very disturbing.

I thought you should know.

Concerned parent

by email