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MP: Memorial Arboretum cuts an 'embarrassment'

A Staffordshire MP has criticised a decision by the Ministry of Defence to cut funding to the National Memorial Arboretum, calling it an "embarrassment".

While the MoD says it extended funding which was due to be cut altogether last year, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant argues that it's still not enough. He says the Arboretum gets a fraction of the funding given to other memorials - despite attracting much higher visitor numbers.

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MP slams cuts to National Memorial Arboretum

General view of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News Central

There are calls for the government to re-think its decision to cut funding for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, has called the removal of the grant a national disgrace, saying:

> "This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding... The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national remembrance."

The arboretum contains the National Armed Forces Memorial dedicated to the 16,000 servicemen and women who have died since the Second World War.

Council to debate findings of report branding its children's services 'inadequate'

Two years after the death of the Coventry schoolboy Daniel Pelka, children's services in the city have been judged 'inadequate'.

Ofsted inspectors said the department, which failed to stop the four-year-old from being starved, tortured and murdered - is not improving quickly enough.

Tonight, campaigners have described the situation as 'depressing' and say children are still suffering.

This evening the leader and deputy leader of Coventry City Council called for a meeting of all councillors to debate the findings of the report on the 15th April.

The council says it is committed to improving services for the most vulnerable children.

Council calls meeting to discuss Ofsted findings branding children's services 'inadequate'

Coventry City Council have called a meeting of all councillors to debate the findings of an Ofsted report which branded its child protection measures 'inadequate'.

Deputy Leader, Cllr Phil Townshend, said: "We are neither complacent nor in denial about the degree of challenge to be faced. We need to ensure effective but constructive political oversight around managing progress generally, and specifically around the fifteen recommendations from Ofsted."

DFE: Pace of change in Coventry children's services 'not good enough'

The Department for Education has branded the pace of change in children's service in Coventry as 'simply not good enough'.

It comes after a highly critical report by Ofsted, published today, found that children's services in Coventry are inadequate.

We have been concerned about the arrangements for the protection of children in Coventry since the publication of the serious case review into the death of Daniel Pelka in September 2013. We were clear at the time that we expected children's services to dramatically improve without delay, which was why we required the LSCB to undertake a deeper analysis of the wider issues so that Coventry was able to learn lessons from Daniel's death.

While we accept securing sustainable improvement takes time, today's report shows that the pace of change in Coventry has simply not been good enough. We will now consider what further actions are needed to ensure all vulnerable children in Coventry are sufficiently protected.

– A Department for Education spokesperson

READ: Coventry children's services judged 'inadequate' by Ofsted

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1,400 more children referred to social workers in less than a year

More than 1,400 children have been referred to social workers in Coventry in less than a year.

It follows a highly critical report by Ofsted that has found children's services in Coventry to be inadequate.

The report, which was published today, also found that caseloads for social workers in the city are too high.

  • In March 2013, social workers were working with 3,085 Coventry children.
  • By the end of February 2014, social workers were working with 4,529 Coventry children.

READ: Coventry children's services judged 'inadequate' by Ofsted

Council: 'There is no hiding from Ofsted's inadequate findings'

A highly critical report by Ofsted has found that children's services in Coventry have been judged inadequate by inspectors two years after the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka.

The schoolboy was murdered by his mother and stepfather after years of neglect and abuse.

Four-year-old Daniel Pelka Credit: West Midlands Police/PA Archive

The report, which was published today, found that caseloads for social workers in the city are too high. Workloads have increased by 46% over the last two years.

A £5.6 million investment in children's service will be spent on creating more social work teams to deal with the huge increase of referrals.

The report did highlight a positive step in the new leadership of the service.

Councillor George Duggins, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said there is no hiding from the report:

"There is no hiding from the fact that the report's overall findings are disappointing but many of the problems we face, particularly in the front line of children social care, is down to the fact of the unprecedented volume of work which continues to increase."

READ: Coventry children's services judged 'inadequate'

Coventry children's services judged 'inadequate'

Daniel Pelka died after being starved and beaten by his mother and her partner Credit: West Midlands Police

Children's services in Coventry have been judged inadequate by inspectors two years after the death of schoolboy Daniel Pelka. The four-year-old was murdered by his mother and stepfather after years of abuse and neglect.

The highly critical report by Ofsted found that caseloads for social workers are too high, and children are at risk of harm.

The lead councillor for children's services has vowed there will be a "rapid improvement" in services.

Councillor George Duggins, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:

"As the Ofsted report reflects, the findings are not a verdict on the staff who are working extremely hard in the face of ever increasing workloads and their passion, commitment and dedication cannot be questioned.

"We have already responded to this challenge by adding another team of social workers and we have funding to add more as part of the additional £5.6 million because as a Council safeguarding is one our highest priorities."

Chancellor says Midlands businesses need to build and export more

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@itvcentral Osborne says we need businesses in the midland need to build more and export more budget2014

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Osborne we are backing exporters who are proud to say 'made in Britain '. @itvcentral Budget2014

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