Southampton children overlooked by faceless budget holders.
Whatever the circumstances of why the Big Lottery made the decision not to fund £10m of training for secondary school staff and for counsellors from the young person's charity No Limits to work alongside those staff, it might help to look at the bigger picture.
In 2007 a decision was made by a Labour Government to raid the Big Lottery Fund as costs to host the 2012 Olympics trebled. Around £425m is still owed to the Lottery Fund which could be funding thousands of small charities across the UK. The 2012 Team GB competitors also were handed £255m from the Lottery Fund for help with their training and living costs. In addition to the story there has been £355m Lottery money to train competitors for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The cost to our National Lottery Fund to achieve Olympic glory is colossal; this comes at a price to other charities struggling to deliver help in our communities. No one wants to hear of impoverished Olympic potentials failing to afford enough groceries for the week, yet neither do we want to read about children being emotionally damaged further because of mental issues.
Some of the Lottery Funded pot of £50m available for distribution around the country to be used to help young people might have reached Southampton. For vague reasons this did not happen. If National Government had any compassion it would dig deep and find the money so all those authorities that applied for such funding could run projects and potentially allow vulnerable youngsters to get support.
The No Limits charity connected to the £10m bid is already overstretched in Southampton, they may still be able to apply independently for an amount of funding so as to achieve a similar outcome within our city schools without any accusations of political failing within SCC.
In Southampton we have a poor record of achievement when tackling some issues relating to children. Without access to a crystal ball, how can this Government sideline another opportunity to make good this slippery situation?