Interview with Neil Elkes. Understanding the children’s services

Categories: Interviews

Neil Elkes is the local government correspondent for the Birmingham Mail. If you attend to a cabinet meeting or to a scrutiny committee at the City Council you will probably see him taking notes and tweeting from the spot reserved for the press.

In the video posted above he shares his experience in local politics and talks about children’s services in Birmingham. The interview answers some basic questions to understand the system as a whole.

How the children’s services are funded? What are the main differences between Labour and Conservatives? How is the local government implementing the cuts?

He is able to provide some context about the problems that this service has been suffering during the last few years, when it was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

“Since 2009 they have been rated as inadequate by the government and there was almost a cross-party consensus that they would work together, they would cooperate and they would what they could to get the children’s services improved”

Moreover, he also explains the main problems that any journalist or any citizen in general might found if he tries to understand the cuts in these services.

“It is difficult to know where cuts are. (…) There are still big questions marks over what iss going to happen with youth centres, (…) over children’s centres…so we are waiting to see exactly how it works on the ground”

Have a look to the video and give us some feedback!

PS: Sorry for the poor quality of the video, but we had some technical problems when we recorded it.

Author: Duarte Romero Varela

Datajournalist

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