Decision on centre for vulnerable children near Heighington could be delayed following local opposition

Heighington

Heighington

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PLANNING permission for a centre to help vulnerable children could be delayed following opposition from villagers.

Proposals to transform a farm into a residential therapeutic, education and care facility have been met with concern from residents of nearby Heighington, near Darlington.

Villagers spoke of their worries at a recent public meeting and more than 100 letters of objection have been lodged with Darlington Borough Council since the plans were announced in November last year.

Concerns have been raised around issues such as security, increased traffic on access roads, the impact on local farmers and the spoiling of the rural landscape.

One complaint said: “The modern design of the development, especially the school, is not in character with the surrounding rural area.”

Another added: “The lanes leading to it from A68, Heighington and Redworth are difficult presently, being single vehicle width in most sections, with vehicles having to back up to avoid collision.

“In winter conditions and in the dark these would be a dangerous nightmare.”

Residents have now set up a steering group led by local farmer Peter Cockburn, who fears the development could be a potential hazard to his livelihood and to children who may be tempted to climb combustible haystacks on his land.

Mr Cockburn told a meeting of Heighington Parish Council last week that funds raised by villagers have been used to enlist the services of planning experts.

He said the steering group is now calling on Darlington Borough Council to delay any decisions until they have had chance to conduct their own traffic surveys and site visits.

Mr Cockburn also suggested that there was no local need for the facility, saying that most of the children who would be housed there would be placed from outside the area.

However, planning documents submitted by the Witherslack Group say that the £3m development would meet demand for residential spaces in the area.

The documents say just five per cent of children’s homes in the country are based in the North-East and that between 26 and 50 per cent of looked after children from County Durham and Darlington are placed outside of the local authority boundary.

The proposed development - which would initially cater for 14 children and provide more than 50 new jobs – would incorporate two residential buildings and a learning centre on the site of Jubilee Wood Farm, near Heighington.

Comments (29)

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2:41pm Sat 18 Jan 14

behonest says...

Is 'vulnerable' the right word, or is the Echo spinning it again?

More than 50 jobs, to look after 14 children? Are these really 'children' or young adults - I suspect words have been carefully chosen again. Do they have serious behavioural problems, hence the staffing ratio of nearly 4 to 1?

Are they considered young thugs/criminals by most of society, but referred to as 'vulnerable children' by the authorities - to shame us into keeping quiet? Surely all children are 'vulnerable', are they not?

I don't blame Heighington residents for having concerns over this.
Is 'vulnerable' the right word, or is the Echo spinning it again? More than 50 jobs, to look after 14 children? Are these really 'children' or young adults - I suspect words have been carefully chosen again. Do they have serious behavioural problems, hence the staffing ratio of nearly 4 to 1? Are they considered young thugs/criminals by most of society, but referred to as 'vulnerable children' by the authorities - to shame us into keeping quiet? Surely all children are 'vulnerable', are they not? I don't blame Heighington residents for having concerns over this. behonest
  • Score: 2

4:05pm Sat 18 Jan 14

darloboss says...

behonest and objectors from Heighington hang your heads in shame
as for the amount of staff needed apart from admin and houshold upkeeping jobs the actual care staff that are needed seeing as this is a 24/7 care home would be two or three to one this is a care home not a bail hostel or prison do your homework and dont try to spread silly rumors
behonest and objectors from Heighington hang your heads in shame as for the amount of staff needed apart from admin and houshold upkeeping jobs the actual care staff that are needed seeing as this is a 24/7 care home would be two or three to one this is a care home not a bail hostel or prison do your homework and dont try to spread silly rumors darloboss
  • Score: 21

4:46pm Sat 18 Jan 14

behonest says...

darloboss wrote:
behonest and objectors from Heighington hang your heads in shame
as for the amount of staff needed apart from admin and houshold upkeeping jobs the actual care staff that are needed seeing as this is a 24/7 care home would be two or three to one this is a care home not a bail hostel or prison do your homework and dont try to spread silly rumors
You seem to know more about it than I do, and you're suggesting a ratio of perhaps 3 staff to 1 young person. That doesn't sound like a poor, 'vulnerable' young child, simply in need of 'care', to me.

There is a big difference between me asking questions and trying 'to spread silly rumors' as you wrongly accuse me of.

Have you done any homework on this, or are you just generalising? What is the background of these 'vulnerable children'? Have you any idea?

And suggestions of 'nimbyism' towards the people of Heighington (and others) always seem to be made by those who would be the first to object if such a project was planned next door to them.

There is no need for anyone to 'hang their heads in shame' for merely asking questions.
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: behonest and objectors from Heighington hang your heads in shame as for the amount of staff needed apart from admin and houshold upkeeping jobs the actual care staff that are needed seeing as this is a 24/7 care home would be two or three to one this is a care home not a bail hostel or prison do your homework and dont try to spread silly rumors[/p][/quote]You seem to know more about it than I do, and you're suggesting a ratio of perhaps 3 staff to 1 young person. That doesn't sound like a poor, 'vulnerable' young child, simply in need of 'care', to me. There is a big difference between me asking questions and trying 'to spread silly rumors' as you wrongly accuse me of. Have you done any homework on this, or are you just generalising? What is the background of these 'vulnerable children'? Have you any idea? And suggestions of 'nimbyism' towards the people of Heighington (and others) always seem to be made by those who would be the first to object if such a project was planned next door to them. There is no need for anyone to 'hang their heads in shame' for merely asking questions. behonest
  • Score: -18

7:44pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Little-green-man says...

What should we do with these kids then? Leave them rot? Or help them just as it is not near us. I can't see what the problem is.
What should we do with these kids then? Leave them rot? Or help them just as it is not near us. I can't see what the problem is. Little-green-man
  • Score: 18

8:31pm Sat 18 Jan 14

youngcrony says...

For once, I am with the objectors. Take a look at the road on Google street view, the full address is: Jubilee Wood Farm, Newbiggin Lane, Heighington, DARLINGTON, DL2 2UH

You can find the planning application on DBC website under case number "13/00855/FUL".
For once, I am with the objectors. Take a look at the road on Google street view, the full address is: Jubilee Wood Farm, Newbiggin Lane, Heighington, DARLINGTON, DL2 2UH You can find the planning application on DBC website under case number "13/00855/FUL". youngcrony
  • Score: -3

10:41pm Sat 18 Jan 14

stevegg says...

Nimbyism at its finest. Cant even have a cattle mart in the countryside which is used exclusiively by farmers who live in the countryside, has to remain in Darlington town centre thanks to similar Nimbyism. Lets just pile all the things people object to into Darlington.Nimbys always object to being Nimbys.
Nimbyism at its finest. Cant even have a cattle mart in the countryside which is used exclusiively by farmers who live in the countryside, has to remain in Darlington town centre thanks to similar Nimbyism. Lets just pile all the things people object to into Darlington.Nimbys always object to being Nimbys. stevegg
  • Score: 29

11:31pm Sat 18 Jan 14

detachedbystander says...

The heart of the objection is to having 'those sort' of people near to Heighington. I live in the Parish so I know how Heighington people think. Villagers who have lived there for years are quite sanguine about the project. Those who paid top wack to buy a house in the village within the last 10 years are worried about the impact on their investment. As one lad said to me 'I haven't got this huge mortgage just to have people like them on the doorstep'. Heighington has a very successful track record in getting applications felt to be undesirable turned down. If the application was for an elite private school, nothing would be said.

A mate of mine in the Parish had an issue around a farmer erecting a dirty great wind turbine on his land and could he hell get anyone to show any interest.

The centre is at least 1 mile away in the countryside, between Heighington and Shildon.

If approved, I'm sure all will be fine
The heart of the objection is to having 'those sort' of people near to Heighington. I live in the Parish so I know how Heighington people think. Villagers who have lived there for years are quite sanguine about the project. Those who paid top wack to buy a house in the village within the last 10 years are worried about the impact on their investment. As one lad said to me 'I haven't got this huge mortgage just to have people like them on the doorstep'. Heighington has a very successful track record in getting applications felt to be undesirable turned down. If the application was for an elite private school, nothing would be said. A mate of mine in the Parish had an issue around a farmer erecting a dirty great wind turbine on his land and could he hell get anyone to show any interest. The centre is at least 1 mile away in the countryside, between Heighington and Shildon. If approved, I'm sure all will be fine detachedbystander
  • Score: 31

11:14am Sun 19 Jan 14

harry2 says...

Vunerable children how could people object the website of the company with the proposal is very good informative.

And even if some of these kids have been in trouble do they not deserve a chance in life and the chance to get the help to turn their little lives around before adulthood.

Also there is the jobs it will create
Vunerable children how could people object the website of the company with the proposal is very good informative. And even if some of these kids have been in trouble do they not deserve a chance in life and the chance to get the help to turn their little lives around before adulthood. Also there is the jobs it will create harry2
  • Score: 23

11:43am Sun 19 Jan 14

little miss me says...

I have worked in a place very similar to this. It will employ approx 50 people to care for probably 2 homes on the site and a learning centre (school). Most of the staff will be in the LC teaching while the rest are there to be substitute parents to these children who can't cope at their parental homes for one reason or another. We don't know the particular reason why they need to be their but generally it is in the child/ young persons best interests not those of the people who will live a mile away from the home. These children are great to be with and have many good points, people jump on the bandwagon of it being a "bad boys home". Get a grip they are not going to put killers or rapist in a place like this. People need to remember there is the Young Peoples Centre at Aycliffe for young offenders and underage criminals not a beautiful home setting in the countryside for children who need a little extra support
I have worked in a place very similar to this. It will employ approx 50 people to care for probably 2 homes on the site and a learning centre (school). Most of the staff will be in the LC teaching while the rest are there to be substitute parents to these children who can't cope at their parental homes for one reason or another. We don't know the particular reason why they need to be their but generally it is in the child/ young persons best interests not those of the people who will live a mile away from the home. These children are great to be with and have many good points, people jump on the bandwagon of it being a "bad boys home". Get a grip they are not going to put killers or rapist in a place like this. People need to remember there is the Young Peoples Centre at Aycliffe for young offenders and underage criminals not a beautiful home setting in the countryside for children who need a little extra support little miss me
  • Score: 31

11:55am Sun 19 Jan 14

jen.smith says...

I can't believe the mocking of these kids by some people.. they are looking on these kids with disgust and they should be ashamed. Seems to me like the more money they have the more stuck up they are with little feelings to those in need. As long as their precious village is kept just to themselves, nothing else matters.
I was a child in care, from age of 1 till I was 18... and if everyone was like some of you on here, I would never of had a place to live. You listen to rumours saying dangerous kids, but ask yourself why they are the way they are if that's the case, what kind of life they must have led and if they are not dangerous and it is all pathetic rumour, think of the children you are taking this chance away from. The children are what matters, not you... they are the future generation when you are dead and gone.. giving them every possibility now of leading a happier life away from what caused them to be in care, will make for a better generation. These kids have been let down way too much already in one way or another without seeing people look at them as being vile beings that people can just turn away. They are children that need to know people care, so they too can learn how to bring about these qualities. Some people really are selfish idiots who only think of themselves!
I can't believe the mocking of these kids by some people.. they are looking on these kids with disgust and they should be ashamed. Seems to me like the more money they have the more stuck up they are with little feelings to those in need. As long as their precious village is kept just to themselves, nothing else matters. I was a child in care, from age of 1 till I was 18... and if everyone was like some of you on here, I would never of had a place to live. You listen to rumours saying dangerous kids, but ask yourself why they are the way they are if that's the case, what kind of life they must have led and if they are not dangerous and it is all pathetic rumour, think of the children you are taking this chance away from. The children are what matters, not you... they are the future generation when you are dead and gone.. giving them every possibility now of leading a happier life away from what caused them to be in care, will make for a better generation. These kids have been let down way too much already in one way or another without seeing people look at them as being vile beings that people can just turn away. They are children that need to know people care, so they too can learn how to bring about these qualities. Some people really are selfish idiots who only think of themselves! jen.smith
  • Score: 27

11:56am Sun 19 Jan 14

doddy2010 says...

We live not far from West Park hospital - you know the one with some of the countries most dangerous and disturbed offenders. We've never had any issues....mainly because they are well supervised and not allowed to roam around willy nilly!

Typical Heighington nimbyism - 'we are just too good, too rural, too posh for this kind of thing!' 'take your filthy, needy, snotty kids somewhere else if you don't mind'.

That's right, out of sight, out of mind.

We wouldn't want them ruining our village fete's and messing with the bunting now would we?

This is a local village - for local people!
We live not far from West Park hospital - you know the one with some of the countries most dangerous and disturbed offenders. We've never had any issues....mainly because they are well supervised and not allowed to roam around willy nilly! Typical Heighington nimbyism - 'we are just too good, too rural, too posh for this kind of thing!' 'take your filthy, needy, snotty kids somewhere else if you don't mind'. That's right, out of sight, out of mind. We wouldn't want them ruining our village fete's and messing with the bunting now would we? This is a local village - for local people! doddy2010
  • Score: 32

12:13pm Sun 19 Jan 14

greenfinger says...

they don't want gypsies, they don't want vulnerable persons, could the people of Heighington tell us who you'd like to live there.... maybe the Beckhams or David Cameron? Who the hell do these people think they are? I think the people of COUNTY DURHAM should have the say, and i know where my vote would go. stuck so far up their own backsides the world looks brown to them.
they don't want gypsies, they don't want vulnerable persons, could the people of Heighington tell us who you'd like to live there.... maybe the Beckhams or David Cameron? Who the hell do these people think they are? I think the people of COUNTY DURHAM should have the say, and i know where my vote would go. stuck so far up their own backsides the world looks brown to them. greenfinger
  • Score: 20

2:34pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Voice-of-reality says...

There is a clear clash here between the needs/rights/desires of homeowners and the needs of the chidlren. The former, when purchasing their own homes with their own money cleaerly decided where they wished to live based - at least in part, on facilities, locality, environment, and so on. These elements - which will have cost them dearly - are now 'threatened' by a development. On the other hand, the children need to be put somewhere.
the solution seems simple: children's home should be located where people do not own their own property. I would therefore recommend the construction of all such facilities in the middle of existing housing estates - the people who inhabit such houses do not own them, they should have no 'life long' right to them, and they are housed purely through the generosity of subsidies by the taxpayer - as such they have no 'investment' in the areas.
If you choose not to provide a home for yourself and your family (by relying on the state) you should have no ability to grumble as to what the state chooses to put next to you - in direct contrast to those who have paid not only for their own homes but will also predominantly fund the bills for such children's facilities as well as those of the council tenants next to which such facilities should be sited.
There is a clear clash here between the needs/rights/desires of homeowners and the needs of the chidlren. The former, when purchasing their own homes with their own money cleaerly decided where they wished to live based - at least in part, on facilities, locality, environment, and so on. These elements - which will have cost them dearly - are now 'threatened' by a development. On the other hand, the children need to be put somewhere. the solution seems simple: children's home should be located where people do not own their own property. I would therefore recommend the construction of all such facilities in the middle of existing housing estates - the people who inhabit such houses do not own them, they should have no 'life long' right to them, and they are housed purely through the generosity of subsidies by the taxpayer - as such they have no 'investment' in the areas. If you choose not to provide a home for yourself and your family (by relying on the state) you should have no ability to grumble as to what the state chooses to put next to you - in direct contrast to those who have paid not only for their own homes but will also predominantly fund the bills for such children's facilities as well as those of the council tenants next to which such facilities should be sited. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 5

3:39pm Sun 19 Jan 14

joedarlo45 says...

Residents have now set up a steering group led by local farmer Peter Cockburn, who fears the development could be a potential hazard to his livelihood and to children who may be tempted to climb combustible haystacks

When you hear an objector resorting to saying children climbing haystacks which could be combustible...that is not exactly a meaningful objection, and I would call it grasping at straws....Come on Heighington get a life.....
Residents have now set up a steering group led by local farmer Peter Cockburn, who fears the development could be a potential hazard to his livelihood and to children who may be tempted to climb combustible haystacks When you hear an objector resorting to saying children climbing haystacks which could be combustible...that is not exactly a meaningful objection, and I would call it grasping at straws....Come on Heighington get a life..... joedarlo45
  • Score: 22

9:43am Mon 20 Jan 14

little miss me says...

These children need extra support is all. They are not dangerous criminals. Like I said the children who offend or commit crimes are detained in a place suitable, like Aycliffe Young People's Centre who harbour some of the most dangerous and notorious children who have commited crimes (you don't see articles on here about the people who live on the estate opposite twisting about them do you?). Go on the Witherslack website and see what this organisation is all about. Children in need of a caring, nurturing home and an education they can cope with. You'd all be extremely surprised and ashamed of yourselves if you knew what some of these young people made of their lives. They and their carers are all very proud of what they have achieved which I bet is a lot more than some of the people commenting on this. These are children at the end of the day and it is exactly these kind of narrow minded opinions that they think everyone has of them. Get a grip and realise that not everyone has a perfect life with perfect children or parents
These children need extra support is all. They are not dangerous criminals. Like I said the children who offend or commit crimes are detained in a place suitable, like Aycliffe Young People's Centre who harbour some of the most dangerous and notorious children who have commited crimes (you don't see articles on here about the people who live on the estate opposite twisting about them do you?). Go on the Witherslack website and see what this organisation is all about. Children in need of a caring, nurturing home and an education they can cope with. You'd all be extremely surprised and ashamed of yourselves if you knew what some of these young people made of their lives. They and their carers are all very proud of what they have achieved which I bet is a lot more than some of the people commenting on this. These are children at the end of the day and it is exactly these kind of narrow minded opinions that they think everyone has of them. Get a grip and realise that not everyone has a perfect life with perfect children or parents little miss me
  • Score: 20

4:25pm Mon 20 Jan 14

neninja says...

I live nr Heighington and have no issue with having this sort of facility located somewhere locally. However, I do think this site is unsuitable as the roads are shockingly maintained by DBC and too narrow for the limited current traffic let alone that from a school. The fields further up the same lane by the A68 would be more suitable as access would be far easier.

I have it on good authority that there is actually an over supply of this sort of accommodation within Darlington Borough. This might not be the case for County Durham but that's a different authority and the application falls within Darlington.
I live nr Heighington and have no issue with having this sort of facility located somewhere locally. However, I do think this site is unsuitable as the roads are shockingly maintained by DBC and too narrow for the limited current traffic let alone that from a school. The fields further up the same lane by the A68 would be more suitable as access would be far easier. I have it on good authority that there is actually an over supply of this sort of accommodation within Darlington Borough. This might not be the case for County Durham but that's a different authority and the application falls within Darlington. neninja
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Tue 21 Jan 14

victorjames says...

My three brothers and I spent almost our entire childhood in children’s homes; I certainly did because I chose to stay in care when I had the choice of returning home. Unfortunately I was proved correct and my younger brothers were soon back in care.

We were originally removed for our safety by the NSPCC. When I first saw this news item I hardly dared look at the responses because I’d seen the reaction to the report about the Gypsy community in Darlington.

I need not have worried because the great majority of comment in this column has shown compassion and a willingness to wait to hear the true facts rather than listening to scare mongering.

I’ve never been ashamed of being in care because it wasn’t my fault, but I know well the prejudice some people have. I was in care in the 50s when most people simply assumed that children’s homes equated to approved schools or borstals.

Two quick examples, I passed the 11+ and went to Grammar School and one day I was sent out of class for misbehaviour (we played a practical joke on the teacher but I was the only one silly enough to own up) and while I was out my form master told the rest of the class that such behaviour was expected from me because I was from a children’s home.

Our home was in a very wealthy area and every Sunday we were sent to church and Sunday School. A particular family of neighbours came to the home to complain that we littered every Sunday. Unfortunately for them this same family had been seen throwing the rubbish down themselves. Small instances, not serious, but very revealing.

Generally, however, I found that most people were kind and understanding once they knew the true facts although they’ll always be snobs and narrow-minded people
My three brothers and I spent almost our entire childhood in children’s homes; I certainly did because I chose to stay in care when I had the choice of returning home. Unfortunately I was proved correct and my younger brothers were soon back in care. We were originally removed for our safety by the NSPCC. When I first saw this news item I hardly dared look at the responses because I’d seen the reaction to the report about the Gypsy community in Darlington. I need not have worried because the great majority of comment in this column has shown compassion and a willingness to wait to hear the true facts rather than listening to scare mongering. I’ve never been ashamed of being in care because it wasn’t my fault, but I know well the prejudice some people have. I was in care in the 50s when most people simply assumed that children’s homes equated to approved schools or borstals. Two quick examples, I passed the 11+ and went to Grammar School and one day I was sent out of class for misbehaviour (we played a practical joke on the teacher but I was the only one silly enough to own up) and while I was out my form master told the rest of the class that such behaviour was expected from me because I was from a children’s home. Our home was in a very wealthy area and every Sunday we were sent to church and Sunday School. A particular family of neighbours came to the home to complain that we littered every Sunday. Unfortunately for them this same family had been seen throwing the rubbish down themselves. Small instances, not serious, but very revealing. Generally, however, I found that most people were kind and understanding once they knew the true facts although they’ll always be snobs and narrow-minded people victorjames
  • Score: 18

8:05pm Tue 21 Jan 14

victorjames says...

Incidentally I meant to respond to an earlier comment about the ratio of 4 to 1 for staff to children would seem to be OK when you consider that staff would need to work shift patterns and there would be catering as well.
Incidentally I meant to respond to an earlier comment about the ratio of 4 to 1 for staff to children would seem to be OK when you consider that staff would need to work shift patterns and there would be catering as well. victorjames
  • Score: 12

11:10pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Stewed says...

Good post victor, behonest you keep banging on about just wanting answers to your questions. How about YOU do some research before you speculate about whether the kids are "young thugs/criminals/murd
erers/rapists" on a public forum. If the kids are just unfortunate vulnerable children let down by their uncaring parents and an uncaring society as victor has illustrated in his example I hope you will offer a full apology on here. Or maybe a donation to a children's society?
I could speculate on whether you are a thug or a criminal but that would be way out of order wouldn't it? I'd expect you'd be quite upset?
Good post victor, behonest you keep banging on about just wanting answers to your questions. How about YOU do some research before you speculate about whether the kids are "young thugs/criminals/murd erers/rapists" on a public forum. If the kids are just unfortunate vulnerable children let down by their uncaring parents and an uncaring society as victor has illustrated in his example I hope you will offer a full apology on here. Or maybe a donation to a children's society? I could speculate on whether you are a thug or a criminal but that would be way out of order wouldn't it? I'd expect you'd be quite upset? Stewed
  • Score: 5

11:48am Wed 22 Jan 14

behonest says...

Stewed, you also miss the point. The Echo headline says little more than this residential facility is to 'care for vulnerable children'; are we to just accept this and ask no questions? What about all other proposals and projects that the Echo reports on (e.g. alcohol minimum price, travellers), should we all just accept the headline as full and honest reporting, unless we are prepared to go off and do our own research before we make a comment or raise a question? I think not.

The story, as reported, raises questions - the staffing ratio being one of them. Plans have been submitted by the company, the council is well aware of what the plans are, and more details could be given (rather than just the 'vulnerable children' phrase).

If these youngsters turn out to have serious behavioural problems, rather than be just 'unfortunate vulnerable children' as you describe, will you offer an apology on here and make a donation to a victims group? Or do you not care what their problems are, and will support this project anyway, because they need to be taken care of regardless? If so, fair enough, but it is also reasonable for the people of Heighington to have concerns - particularly if it is being forced on them because they are a Tory ward rather than a Labour one. I'm sure Darlington Labour will deny this of course...
Stewed, you also miss the point. The Echo headline says little more than this residential facility is to 'care for vulnerable children'; are we to just accept this and ask no questions? What about all other proposals and projects that the Echo reports on (e.g. alcohol minimum price, travellers), should we all just accept the headline as full and honest reporting, unless we are prepared to go off and do our own research before we make a comment or raise a question? I think not. The story, as reported, raises questions - the staffing ratio being one of them. Plans have been submitted by the company, the council is well aware of what the plans are, and more details could be given (rather than just the 'vulnerable children' phrase). If these youngsters turn out to have serious behavioural problems, rather than be just 'unfortunate vulnerable children' as you describe, will you offer an apology on here and make a donation to a victims group? Or do you not care what their problems are, and will support this project anyway, because they need to be taken care of regardless? If so, fair enough, but it is also reasonable for the people of Heighington to have concerns - particularly if it is being forced on them because they are a Tory ward rather than a Labour one. I'm sure Darlington Labour will deny this of course... behonest
  • Score: 0

11:52am Wed 22 Jan 14

behonest says...

victorjames wrote:
Incidentally I meant to respond to an earlier comment about the ratio of 4 to 1 for staff to children would seem to be OK when you consider that staff would need to work shift patterns and there would be catering as well.
Is it OK, Victor?
My maths isn’t too bad, but I’m struggling with this one. Class sizes in this Region are often 30+, I think we can agree on that. This story reports 14 children will be catered for, so less than half the size of one typical class.

One teacher and one teaching assistant can easily cope with a class of 14? So that’s two staff. Depending on their age range, and subjects to be taught, I accept input from other teachers may be needed, but this would have to be on an ad-hoc or agency type basis, surely no more than two full-time teaching staff for a class of 14?

Plus one cook, one kitchen assistant and one cleaner – generous service here I think, for 14 youngsters. Plus residential staff for out of hours pastoral care; let’s say three (at most?), plus one manager and one admin person. So I make that 10. Higher level management and support would be provided from Company HQ, if required?

The two teaching staff will work every day, but the pastoral staff will need to cover for their holidays. But anyway, let’s double the total of 10, to take account of shifts and absence (although teaching, kitchen and cleaning staff are not needed 24 hours a day), to make it 20 staff, and then let’s add on another 10 staff just for luck, to make it 30. Plus a budget for agency staff as required, occasional transport, and other ‘bits’ that don’t require a full-time employee.

We have to add another 10 staff, and then another 10 staff, and then more staff, to make it ‘More than 50 new jobs’. Please explain, Victor.
[quote][p][bold]victorjames[/bold] wrote: Incidentally I meant to respond to an earlier comment about the ratio of 4 to 1 for staff to children would seem to be OK when you consider that staff would need to work shift patterns and there would be catering as well.[/p][/quote]Is it OK, Victor? My maths isn’t too bad, but I’m struggling with this one. Class sizes in this Region are often 30+, I think we can agree on that. This story reports 14 children will be catered for, so less than half the size of one typical class. One teacher and one teaching assistant can easily cope with a class of 14? So that’s two staff. Depending on their age range, and subjects to be taught, I accept input from other teachers may be needed, but this would have to be on an ad-hoc or agency type basis, surely no more than two full-time teaching staff for a class of 14? Plus one cook, one kitchen assistant and one cleaner – generous service here I think, for 14 youngsters. Plus residential staff for out of hours pastoral care; let’s say three (at most?), plus one manager and one admin person. So I make that 10. Higher level management and support would be provided from Company HQ, if required? The two teaching staff will work every day, but the pastoral staff will need to cover for their holidays. But anyway, let’s double the total of 10, to take account of shifts and absence (although teaching, kitchen and cleaning staff are not needed 24 hours a day), to make it 20 staff, and then let’s add on another 10 staff just for luck, to make it 30. Plus a budget for agency staff as required, occasional transport, and other ‘bits’ that don’t require a full-time employee. We have to add another 10 staff, and then another 10 staff, and then more staff, to make it ‘More than 50 new jobs’. Please explain, Victor. behonest
  • Score: -4

1:04pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Stewed says...

Ok behonest, like I say do some research. I suggest you send an email to the company involved and ask them the questions directly or maybe send an email to the reporter at the echo to see if she has any further info. Victors gave a good example of how kids in care suffer unfair prejudice in society, it's not really for him to answer your points is it.
As for me offering an apology, I didn't offer any assumptions, you did and I was responding to your assumptions .
I would say we have secure facilities like the one in aycliffe for youngsters convicted of violent crime, we have the Phoenix school in darlington (if it's still open, I heard rumours it was closing) that deals with troublesome kids excluded from mainstream education and we have care homes that home kids that have been let down by parents/society.
The people of the village seem to have concerns based on access roads and property prices, fair concerns which I have no problem with and I'm sure they will be addressed. One person is concerned about kids on hay bails which is hardly thuggish or criminal behaviour. You seem to be more concerned with politics rather than the facts.
Please let me know the outcome of your findings, and we can discuss further without assuming facts, thanks.
Ok behonest, like I say do some research. I suggest you send an email to the company involved and ask them the questions directly or maybe send an email to the reporter at the echo to see if she has any further info. Victors gave a good example of how kids in care suffer unfair prejudice in society, it's not really for him to answer your points is it. As for me offering an apology, I didn't offer any assumptions, you did and I was responding to your assumptions . I would say we have secure facilities like the one in aycliffe for youngsters convicted of violent crime, we have the Phoenix school in darlington (if it's still open, I heard rumours it was closing) that deals with troublesome kids excluded from mainstream education and we have care homes that home kids that have been let down by parents/society. The people of the village seem to have concerns based on access roads and property prices, fair concerns which I have no problem with and I'm sure they will be addressed. One person is concerned about kids on hay bails which is hardly thuggish or criminal behaviour. You seem to be more concerned with politics rather than the facts. Please let me know the outcome of your findings, and we can discuss further without assuming facts, thanks. Stewed
  • Score: 4

2:30pm Wed 22 Jan 14

behonest says...

I'm not actually too interested in researching more details, that is not the point I'm making! I simply started out by having a jibe at the cuddly 'centre for vulnerable children' headline which, to me, appeared to be a tactic to make the people of Heighington look bad for raising objections. I then raised some issues based mainly on the number of staff needed; but if no further details are published then so be it. It's quite common for people to criticise or praise articles on here, without rushing off to do 'research' before they comment! Quite right too.

Because I raised some issues, several people (who, in my view, seemed to look no further than the cuddly headline) started shouting 'hang your head in shame' and other daft abuse.

What 'assumptions' have I offered? I don't believe I have offered any. I have raised a few questions though. Isn't 'assuming facts' an oxymoron?

I'm pleased you agree that the villagers are right to express their concerns about this.

Victor made the point about a ratio of 4 staff to 1 child being about right. I don't therefore think it unreasonable to ask him to explain why this is, given there are only 14 youngsters. He doesn't have to respond of course, it's entirely up to him.
I'm not actually too interested in researching more details, that is not the point I'm making! I simply started out by having a jibe at the cuddly 'centre for vulnerable children' headline which, to me, appeared to be a tactic to make the people of Heighington look bad for raising objections. I then raised some issues based mainly on the number of staff needed; but if no further details are published then so be it. It's quite common for people to criticise or praise articles on here, without rushing off to do 'research' before they comment! Quite right too. Because I raised some issues, several people (who, in my view, seemed to look no further than the cuddly headline) started shouting 'hang your head in shame' and other daft abuse. What 'assumptions' have I offered? I don't believe I have offered any. I have raised a few questions though. Isn't 'assuming facts' an oxymoron? I'm pleased you agree that the villagers are right to express their concerns about this. Victor made the point about a ratio of 4 staff to 1 child being about right. I don't therefore think it unreasonable to ask him to explain why this is, given there are only 14 youngsters. He doesn't have to respond of course, it's entirely up to him. behonest
  • Score: -2

4:03pm Wed 22 Jan 14

trugggg says...

I am a carer for vulnerable children.
The 3 children we look after each have a social worker as they (the children) come from different parts of the country, they have one link worker between them and they have support workers. Because two of the children have special educational needs they have a specialist teacher as well as their normal class teachers. My wife and I look after these children 24/7-however if we did not look after them and they were in a care home, then there would be a need for at least 4 people to look after them to cover for shifts etc. There would also be a need to transport the children to hospital, medical appointments, dentist, etc. Take into account, kitchen staff, cleaners, groundsman, maintenance staff, manager, relief manager and you can see how the jobs build up.

Children are put into care for a million reasons.
The main reason children are put into care homes is because there is a huge shortage of foster carers,and they need somewhere to live. Not because they are murderers and rapists.
All children are vulnerable, those in care more especially so.
I am a carer for vulnerable children. The 3 children we look after each have a social worker as they (the children) come from different parts of the country, they have one link worker between them and they have support workers. Because two of the children have special educational needs they have a specialist teacher as well as their normal class teachers. My wife and I look after these children 24/7-however if we did not look after them and they were in a care home, then there would be a need for at least 4 people to look after them to cover for shifts etc. There would also be a need to transport the children to hospital, medical appointments, dentist, etc. Take into account, kitchen staff, cleaners, groundsman, maintenance staff, manager, relief manager and you can see how the jobs build up. Children are put into care for a million reasons. The main reason children are put into care homes is because there is a huge shortage of foster carers,and they need somewhere to live. Not because they are murderers and rapists. All children are vulnerable, those in care more especially so. trugggg
  • Score: 8

5:08pm Wed 22 Jan 14

behonest says...

trugggg says...
"Children are put into care for a million reasons.
The main reason children are put into care homes is because there is a huge shortage of foster carers,and they need somewhere to live. Not because they are murderers and rapists.
All children are vulnerable, those in care more especially so."

I completely agree with all of this. I don't think anyone would be so idiotic as to suggest the main reason children are put into care homes is because they are murderers and rapists.

More information on this particular project would be useful though, before all the Heighington protesters are condemned to 'hang their heads in shame'. I don't think they should suffer such criticism simply because of a 'help vulnerable children' headline.
trugggg says... "Children are put into care for a million reasons. The main reason children are put into care homes is because there is a huge shortage of foster carers,and they need somewhere to live. Not because they are murderers and rapists. All children are vulnerable, those in care more especially so." I completely agree with all of this. I don't think anyone would be so idiotic as to suggest the main reason children are put into care homes is because they are murderers and rapists. More information on this particular project would be useful though, before all the Heighington protesters are condemned to 'hang their heads in shame'. I don't think they should suffer such criticism simply because of a 'help vulnerable children' headline. behonest
  • Score: 1

8:06pm Wed 22 Jan 14

victorjames says...

Be honest the homes that I was in varied in sizes. One home only had 12 chilfren whilst another had 30. In the latter there was a staff ratio of around 1 to every 2 children.

We were divided up into fanily units of around 6 each with each unit having "an auntie", these were all female (and why I never encountered or heard of any abuse sexual or otherwise) and usually triainee social workers. There would be enough of these to account for 24 hours care, there was a matron and husband (who generally did driving etc). There were also catering staff and casuals.

I would emphasise that I was in care in the 50s and things may well have changed as regards staffing levels etc, and for the worse if the tales from Leicester and Rochdale are anything to go by.

I'm no expert in the staffing levels of present day homes but my point was that the ratio mentioned did seem reasonable
Be honest the homes that I was in varied in sizes. One home only had 12 chilfren whilst another had 30. In the latter there was a staff ratio of around 1 to every 2 children. We were divided up into fanily units of around 6 each with each unit having "an auntie", these were all female (and why I never encountered or heard of any abuse sexual or otherwise) and usually triainee social workers. There would be enough of these to account for 24 hours care, there was a matron and husband (who generally did driving etc). There were also catering staff and casuals. I would emphasise that I was in care in the 50s and things may well have changed as regards staffing levels etc, and for the worse if the tales from Leicester and Rochdale are anything to go by. I'm no expert in the staffing levels of present day homes but my point was that the ratio mentioned did seem reasonable victorjames
  • Score: 4

1:10pm Thu 23 Jan 14

behonest says...

victorjames wrote:
Be honest the homes that I was in varied in sizes. One home only had 12 chilfren whilst another had 30. In the latter there was a staff ratio of around 1 to every 2 children.

We were divided up into fanily units of around 6 each with each unit having "an auntie", these were all female (and why I never encountered or heard of any abuse sexual or otherwise) and usually triainee social workers. There would be enough of these to account for 24 hours care, there was a matron and husband (who generally did driving etc). There were also catering staff and casuals.

I would emphasise that I was in care in the 50s and things may well have changed as regards staffing levels etc, and for the worse if the tales from Leicester and Rochdale are anything to go by.

I'm no expert in the staffing levels of present day homes but my point was that the ratio mentioned did seem reasonable
Thanks Victor. I'd suggest staffing levels have probably decreased in recent years, to cut costs, but I'm no expert on this either.

You mention a ratio of 1 to 2 for a home of 30 children, so 15 staff. So I hope you can at least see, from the outside, why it appears 'top heavy' to have over 50 staff for 14 children.
[quote][p][bold]victorjames[/bold] wrote: Be honest the homes that I was in varied in sizes. One home only had 12 chilfren whilst another had 30. In the latter there was a staff ratio of around 1 to every 2 children. We were divided up into fanily units of around 6 each with each unit having "an auntie", these were all female (and why I never encountered or heard of any abuse sexual or otherwise) and usually triainee social workers. There would be enough of these to account for 24 hours care, there was a matron and husband (who generally did driving etc). There were also catering staff and casuals. I would emphasise that I was in care in the 50s and things may well have changed as regards staffing levels etc, and for the worse if the tales from Leicester and Rochdale are anything to go by. I'm no expert in the staffing levels of present day homes but my point was that the ratio mentioned did seem reasonable[/p][/quote]Thanks Victor. I'd suggest staffing levels have probably decreased in recent years, to cut costs, but I'm no expert on this either. You mention a ratio of 1 to 2 for a home of 30 children, so 15 staff. So I hope you can at least see, from the outside, why it appears 'top heavy' to have over 50 staff for 14 children. behonest
  • Score: -3

1:52pm Thu 23 Jan 14

hasanopinion says...

people should just be honest when putting in their complaints. in the box that says comments why not write "I don't want this on my doorstep because I'm scared it might disrupt my life and these children are better off out of my sight that way they will be out of my mind"
in the minds of some people vulnerable children don't deserve help which I find sad when the story reported of the young lady who died as a result of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother when she was a baby is still very fresh in my mind. if these services did not exist she certainly would not have had the care and love she very much deserved growing up. people need to stop stereo typing what a vulnerable person is each child has different problems which all need addressing in the proper manner by adults who are supposed to guide them not pretend they don't exist!
people should just be honest when putting in their complaints. in the box that says comments why not write "I don't want this on my doorstep because I'm scared it might disrupt my life and these children are better off out of my sight that way they will be out of my mind" in the minds of some people vulnerable children don't deserve help which I find sad when the story reported of the young lady who died as a result of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother when she was a baby is still very fresh in my mind. if these services did not exist she certainly would not have had the care and love she very much deserved growing up. people need to stop stereo typing what a vulnerable person is each child has different problems which all need addressing in the proper manner by adults who are supposed to guide them not pretend they don't exist! hasanopinion
  • Score: 4

9:56am Sat 25 Jan 14

elmo33 says...

BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – WHO RUNS THE UK
We the Electorates main perception of UK Politics & Politicians is that they basically rule us ,but do they ?
We have Davnos the World Economic Forum ,The European Union and the G20 summits .Davnos was formed in 1971 by a German and have annual meetings held by the Global Political and Business Elite .Their 2011 meeting was the “Great Transformation” .At that meeting Cameron called for a “tough, transparent approach” to enforce the EU’s single market – a move he said would bring billions of euros to Europe .
The European Union started in 1951 and has throughout its existence Standardised a System of Laws that apply in all Member States .
The G 20 was formulated for the Cooperation & Formulation on matters concerning the International Financial system .It started by the four largest World Economies at that time the USA ,Britain ,Germany and France .
So what have we the Public throughout Europe gained from these Elite Policy Making Annual Directives . 85 Richest People In World Own As Much As 3.5 Billion Poorest .In the UK Poverty has increased .Wages stagnant .Prices increased .Food Banks a necessity and Cameron refusing EU Aid to assist them but bragged in the Commons on Wednesday that Britain was the Biggest Syrian contributor .Misguided deluded or just pig ignorant of the state of the UK .
http://brokenbritish
politics.simplesite.
com
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – WHO RUNS THE UK We the Electorates main perception of UK Politics & Politicians is that they basically rule us ,but do they ? We have Davnos the World Economic Forum ,The European Union and the G20 summits .Davnos was formed in 1971 by a German and have annual meetings held by the Global Political and Business Elite .Their 2011 meeting was the “Great Transformation” .At that meeting Cameron called for a “tough, transparent approach” to enforce the EU’s single market – a move he said would bring billions of euros to Europe . The European Union started in 1951 and has throughout its existence Standardised a System of Laws that apply in all Member States . The G 20 was formulated for the Cooperation & Formulation on matters concerning the International Financial system .It started by the four largest World Economies at that time the USA ,Britain ,Germany and France . So what have we the Public throughout Europe gained from these Elite Policy Making Annual Directives . 85 Richest People In World Own As Much As 3.5 Billion Poorest .In the UK Poverty has increased .Wages stagnant .Prices increased .Food Banks a necessity and Cameron refusing EU Aid to assist them but bragged in the Commons on Wednesday that Britain was the Biggest Syrian contributor .Misguided deluded or just pig ignorant of the state of the UK . http://brokenbritish politics.simplesite. com elmo33
  • Score: 1

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