Archive for November, 2009

Government Rethink on Childcare Vouchers

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Children’s secretary Ed Balls has said that the Government is ‘going to listen’ to concerns over its plans to scrap tax relief on childcare vouchers. There are now more than 80,000 signatures on a petition urging it to rethink its plans on the Downing Street website.Speaking on Sky News at the weekend, Mr Balls said, ‘We do plan to phase out tax relief, but no-one who gets that relief now will lose it. We are, however, always prepared to listen to any concerns that people have to ensure that we continue to provide support for childcare in the most effective way possible with available resources’.Last week a group of nine former Government ministers wrote to the Prime Minister, protesting about the decision to axe tax relief. In the letter they said he had used out-of-date figures to justify withdrawing the scheme by claiming it mainly benefits higher rate tax payers, and that vouchers support more than 340,000 working parents. The signatories included former children’s minister Beverley Hughes, former health secretary Patricia Hewitt and former Europe minister Caroline Flint.

.It is expected that Mr Brown will announce a revised proposal before Parliament breaks for its Christmas recess on 16 December.If you want to sign the petition go to:

Family Fireworks Displays

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Here are a few local events you might want to check out:

Malmesbury & Tetbury Roundtable Guy Fawkes Night                 St Aldhelm’s Mead, Malmesbury   Fri 6th Nov 09

Malmesbury & Tetbury Roundtable GUY FAWKES NIGHT will be held on Friday 6th November at St Aldhelm’s Mead. The bonfire will be lit at 6 pm and fireworks start at 6.30 pm. Family tickets are £12. Please come and support this charitable event, which raises funds to distribute to local good causes

Rotary Bonfire 

Monkton Park, Chippenham  Sat 7th Nov 09

Tickets cost £3.00 in advance and are available at local outlets including the TIC,and £4.00 on the gates, children under 7 free but need to be accompanied by an adult( for safety reasons). Gates open 4.30pm and the fire will be ignited by the Mayor at 6.15pm. Catering on site,beef burgers, tea ,coffee, etc.
The money raised which is about £10,000, is allocated to local charities as well as world disasters where we can help,with Aqua Boxes, or Emergency Boxes which include tents

Scouts Fireworks Display Lydiard House, Swindon, Sat 7th Nov

This annual family-friendly Firework & Bonfire Spectacular is run by Swindon & North Wiltshire Scouts. 1st Lydiard & Purton Scout group oversee the organisation of the event so please go to their website for all the information on times, entry fees, parking arrangements etc

Quiet Family Bonfire Night        

Neston Park Farm Shop , Atworth Melksham          Thu 5th Nov

Neston Park Farm Shop is to hold a special Bonfire Night with ‘quiet’ fireworks, aimed children under the age of 6 years old. For children who are too young to fully enjoy the large crowds and the loud bangs of big bonfire night displays there will be beautiful but quieter fireworks and a fire in the field adjacent to the shop. Visitors will be able to enjoy the display from the safety of the farm shop grounds. The bonfire will be lit at 6pm with fireworks at 6.15pm. Pre-booking essential. Gates open from 5.00pm. 17:45 – 19:30                      £10 per car

Press Release from Fair Play for Children

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

What’s Best for Our Children?  20 Years Ahead 

On 20th November this year, the seminal treaty on children, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, reaches its Twentieth Annivesary, the date on which in 1989, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to adopt the Convention and to open it for ratification by Member States. 

Fair Play for Children, founded in 1972 by leading rights campaigner, Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, is now founded on Article 31 of the Convention, the Right to Play, Rest and Recreation, and to share fully in Culture.   This Right does not exist in isolation, of course – e.g. Right to Child Care, Right to Health, Rights to Non-discrimination, Non-exploitation, Freedom of Association, To be heard etc 

Leading up to the Anniversary Date, Fair Play is issuing a Challenge: For Readers to tell us 5 things they would like to see achieved in the next 20 years for all Children.  We ask that they contact us at: and tell us:

  • one thing they would like their national Government to do for Children’s Play
  • one thing they would like their national Government to do for Children’s Rights
  • one thing they would like their local/municipal authority to do for Children’s Play
  • one thing they would like their local/municipal authority to do for Children’s Rights
  • one thing they would like to see all Governments do for All Children worldwide

over the next 20 years.  We’d ask they do this by 15th November so that Fair Play can email:

  • Governments
  • UK Local Councils

and others in time for 20th November 2009. We also ask that people replying indicate their age and country.  No names needed. Our website is  and a reply can be left there also.