Bid to make Portsmouth families pay for care is canned

Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

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PLANS to make families pay to put their child into care have been put on the back burner.

Portsmouth City Council was considering introducing a policy where if parents were earning a good income, they would contribute between £45 and £50 a week towards overall costs.

It came after the authority approached two potentially eligible families to see if they would consider agreeing to the move.

But at a meeting of the full council yesterday, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the council’s leader, made assurances that the move wouldn’t be happening this year, as it’s not part of the budget.

He also said any future proposals to introduce charging would be subject to a full public consultation first.

Lib Dem councillor Will Purvis, chairman of the council’s education, children and young people scrutiny panel, was against any changes being made.

‘I don’t think it’s appropriate,’ he said. ‘This wouldn’t have been a small change.’

Worcestershire County Council was the first local authority to recently introduce a policy on charging families, a move condemned by the NSPCC.