Newcastle Greens move to stop NCC divesting of Child Care Services

21ST MARCH 2012

Once again in a bid to reduce the city’s overspending due to poor fiscal management as witnessed by the Laman Street fiasco, NCC is now taking aim at divesting itself of community run Childcare Services.“The options proposed, such as a not-for-profit provider or a possible staff buy-out, are in fact, nothing more than a smoke screen; and NCC’s ultimate goal is to sell the Childcare Services and Assets to private parties” Ms Fee Mozeley, Ward 3 Candidate for The Newcastle Greens said.

“These childcare service were promised information in relation to land tax and ongoing maintenance costs from Council to enable them to make an informed decision in relation to the third option of gifting.

“I’ve been told that this information was not provided even though it was promised in three emails from Judy Jaeger’s office on three separate occasions.

“Council has not been forthcoming and as a consequence these childcare centres have been placed in an impossible position to make a decision regarding options proposed by Newcastle City Council.

“It is clear, that once again, the NCC administrators are forcing through plans without providing adequate and timely information for the community to review and respond to.

“The Greens know that Childcare Centres are vital to our communities and will challenge any attempt to privatise these services” Ms Mozeley said.

For comment:

Ms Fee Mozeley – 0424 026 056
Clr Michael Osborne – 0439 442 984

Last night Council choose to hold over a motion put forward by Clr Nelmes that called for Childcare centres to be removed form the non-statutory service review.  It seems Council wants to know the value of these community assets before deciding whether Childcare services should be exempt. This is appalling. Unfortunately it fits the patterns of the current Council. I commend Clr Nelmes for attempting separate Childcare services from this mess. NCC now moves into phase 2 of its review process of the Council’s Childcare Services. This follows Council’s Resolution of the 5 July 2011, in which Council:
“would consider the potential for divestment of any services to a non-for-profit provider, a possible staff buy-out, or another commercial entity and investigate whether any asset divestments might be realized as a result of non-statutory service variation”.

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