In response to the CPF consultation on Families & Communities, we received substantive submissions from 59 CPF groups, representing at least 502 members from 75 constituencies plus two national groups and two Conservatives Abroad groups. Of those who participated this time, one-in-five (19%) had not previously participated in CPF discussions. In addition, 1,332 members from across at least 438 constituencies responded to a follow-up survey conducted by email. Thank you to everybody who let us know their views.
Particular congratulations to the following CPF Groups, which submitted the most noteworthy submissions:
Reigate and Banstead
Broadland & Norwich
Esher and Walton
South West Devon
Bexhill and Battle
Crewe and Nantwich
Below is a snapshot of the top themes raised by CPF groups. A more detailed collation of responses has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, the Party Chairmen and the CPF Chairman. As usual, we look forward to publishing a formal response to members’ ideas in due course.
Overview of Top Themes
“The government should develop a programme to make a positive case to families and to society for the benefits of marriage and other stable relationships within a legal framework.”
“It should be proactive, encouraging marriage, the maintenance of stable relationships, and support for children in the early years.”
“There was a distinct wariness of throwing money at the problem: working relationships and systems need to change and that does not really rely on more finance.”
“More should be done to provide tools for families to help themselves.”
“There is limited signposting to Family Hubs and much confusion, duplication of services, lack of information and clarity on what is available.”
There was a very high level of support for each of the following proposals, independently made by a large number of CPF Groups:
An improved, mandatory curriculum offer in schools for life skills, including financial accounting and domestic organisation (84% net positive support)
Greater support for marriage and other stable relationships within a legal framework as a basis for raising children (80% net positive support)
Several CPF Groups expressed approval of the prison reforms.
Provide an option in sentencing for offenders to attend an in-house rehabilitation centre for, say, six months to treat addictions, instead of short custodial sentences.
Explore more creative ways of rehabilitating offenders and ensure that prisoners have somewhere to go when they leave prison and some hope of getting a job.
Other top suggestions
Move birth registration into Family Hubs to ensure that all families walk through the door, making it easier to get support and help to those families needing it.
The combined salary of both partners should be what determines the cut off for Child Benefit payments, not one earner being in the higher tax bracket.
The married tax allowance should be generously enhanced when parents have children.
Prisons should assess inmates for literacy skills, offer courses to upskill prisoners and offer better mental health support to prisoners.
Improve mental health programmes for all ages and the early identification of mental health issues in schools and further education.
A specialist team based in GP practices involving practice nurses, a health visitor, a social worker, neighbourhood police, school liaison person, to “join the dots”.
Greater support for local sports clubs, homework clubs, youth clubs and other groups that help children and families, in an Academy model/approach.