ISSUE: Chiswick Child and Family Centre                                

Chiswick Labour Dissident may face Expulsion

Following his tabling of a motion to defer the decision on the Chiswick Child and Family Centre, David Hopkin, a Labour councillor for Gunnersbury ward, looks set to face disciplinary action.

The motion was successful by 21 to 18 and thwarted the Council's attempts to close the centre in order to help balance the books on an over-stretched social services budget. Absenteeism or abstentions lead to the ruling group's usually rock solid majority failing to prevail. The Council has been having difficulty recruiting the skilled professional staff needed for this service and they point out that the Borough already has 4 similar centres which is an unusually high number of such facilities.

The Council had faced criticism over the consultation process not only from parents using the centre and opposition politicians, but also local MP Ann Keen. The timing and speed of consultation was felt by many to be an attempt to rush through what was a potentially embarrassing decision.

David Hopkin's conduct is now being investigated by the Chief Whip of Hounslow Council. Council leader John Connelly has stated that no action will be taken until the whip's report is completed.

The vote had been hailed as an end to partizan politics in Chiswick by Conservative councillor Paul Lynch.

Gunnersbury Ward resident Chris Deering commented - "I'd vote for anything or anybody on a Labour ticket but I do expect them to have some discretion when it comes to voting particularly when it comes to issues directly affecting their area."

Background to the issue

Decision on Centre taken off September Meeting Agenda

The case being made by Council Officers

Parents not Optimistic about November 7th Meeting

Split in Ruling Group Saves Centre for Now

OFSTED Reports on the two centres Note - the Brentford Centre was reinspected in July of this year and the tone of that report is apparently much more favourable than the report on OFSTED's web site.

Fostering in Hounslow




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To contact Colin Ellar the councillor responsible for social services
Click here

To contact the local MP write to:
Ann Keen
House of Commons,

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7219 5623
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