A discussion promised by the Backbench Business Committee, on children’s social care, was cancelled last night after the House of Commons ran out of time to hold the debate. Thousands of families had expressed an interest in the session after this site shared details of the event at the end of last week. Several parents also intended to travel from across the country to attend.
The debate was scheduled to take place yesterday evening, however a spate of last minute emergency questions around the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich, and the disposal of human waste at NHS hospitals left little time for the debate on children’s social care, which was the last debate on the agenda. The one other Backbench Business Committee debate, which looked at Baby Loss Awareness Week, was allowed to run for more than two hours. The debate on children’s social care was set to take place after it.
The debate, headed up by the motion, “That this House has considered children’s social care in England”, was to be opened by Tim Loughton MP. Researching Reform reached out to Tim last night to find out why the debate had been overlooked. Tim told us that the Chamber had run out of time to host the discussion, but that it would be given priority once new slots for backbench debates became available:
Child welfare has become one of the most important political issues of our time, with the media regularly leading their coverage with stories about children’s rights and child wellbeing. The House of Commons’ failure to alert the public to the change in the agenda was clearly not in step with the growing demand for information about how the government treats children within a wide range of contexts, including social care.
With so many members of the public, child welfare professionals, parents and children interested in making a difference in this area, the government needs to respond effectively and make sure that it encourages participation in politics. It can start by keeping the public properly informed about its debates.
We’ll let you know as soon as more information about the debate is released.