Some senior councillors in Cornwall have lambasted the Unite Union for claiming parents could be charged for health visits for their children. On Tuesday November 6, the Union claimed the Council is considering the charges ahead of its decision to continue its plans to harmonise children’s services.
The Union was referring to a document it received earlier on plans by the council to integrate children’s services which indicated means-testing could be introduced for some services and said the proposal could include health visitors.
The Council has denied it plans to include statutory services in the charges.
“They said that Cornwall Council was going to charge for health visitors. My understanding is that is utter nonsense. We wouldn’t be charging for health visitors as that is a statutory duty.” Cabinet member Andrew Mitchell said in a statement.
According to Mitchell, there was a “hidden or political agenda” about the claims made by Unite and accused the Union of “scaremongering”.
The Cabinet member for children and wellbeing, Sally Hawken, who is a member of the Union said she was “really disappointed” to see the comments from Unite. She denied plans to introduce charging, saying the Union “knew perfectly well that we were not going to do that.”
“We have no intention to charge for mandatory services and we will never do that.” Claire added.
The council’s Cabinet, after months of considering ways of delivering children’s services, has approved the proposal to create an integrated children’s services directorate (ICSD).