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Lack of notice given to parents over holiday camps

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has criticised Renfrewshire Council for not doing enough to respond to Capability Scotland’s decision not to continue to operate the holiday camps for children with additional support needs.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Capability Scotland would no longer deliver the Renfrewshire Holiday Playscheme Service, leaving the children with nowhere to go during the school holidays.

Following this announcement, Gavin Newlands MP has been working with the parents affected and contacted the Chief Executives of Renfrewshire Council and Capability Scotland for more information on this decision.

In their response to Mr Newlands, Capability Scotland announced that they informed the Council of their decision on the 12th of September 2016.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It’s been nearly six months since Capability Scotland informed Renfrewshire Council of their decision not to extend their contract for the Holiday Playscheme Service. As such, I can completely understand the parents’ anger that they weren’t told of this decision earlier, with many finding out from other parents or through third hand information rather than being informed by the Council.

“This was a vital service for the children who used it, with many parents describing it as a life-line service. I think it's pretty clear that the Council could've done more to minimise the impact of this decision. The Council should now start working with parents in order to deliver a service which meets their children’s needs.

Local parent, Fiona Miller, said:

“I can’t quite believe that Renfrewshire Council found out about this decision in September but took so long to inform parents that the summer camps would be coming to close. These holiday camps are a vital service for our children, and many families feel utterly distraught that a replacement service hasn’t been put in place.

“From my discussions with the Council, it appears that no service will be provided for the children during the Easter holidays or even the summer holidays. The holiday camps are vital for local children as one of the very few activities available for children with additional support need. I hope that Renfrewshire Council will now take this issue seriously and help to provide a replacement service for families.”

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