Portsmouth grandad to lobby parliament for right to see grandchildren

A Portsmouth man will visit the House of Commons today to lobby for more rights for grandparents to see their grandchildren.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 8:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 8:43 am
Grandfather Ken Ebbens. Picture: Steve Reid (121705-501) ENGPPP00120120516163607

Ken Ebbens, from Landport, has petitioned for years for grandparents to be allowed more contact with their families who have been broken up.

Mr Ebbens lost touch with his youngest granddaughter in 2009 after a family fall-out, and later set up a support group for other grandparents in Portsmouth affected by similar issues.

He said: ‘Grandparents have never been more needed than in this present era.

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‘During the last 10 to 15 years there has been a particular surge in grandparents being the preferred option to care for their grandchildren ahead of all other kinds of child care.

‘Not only do grandparents provide care for their grandchildren but in many cases, they provide financial support to help their children on to the property ladder and can often assist in payment of school fees and other vital expenses for the grandchildren.’

Mr Ebbens said that the law does not give an automatic right to grandparents to have contact with their grandchildren.

Speakers at today’s event include presenter Esther Rantzen and divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt.