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Children's Centre staff warned of possible job losses

The decision to award contracts for running residential children's homes and outreach care services to St Christopher's Fellowship was taken after the normal course of procurement had been completed.

That's according to the Department of Health and Social care after it was announced that the future of the Children's Centre could be under threat.

The long-established Manx charity says it may not be able to continue as much of its current work had been awarded to St Christopher's.

The Children's Centre has run since 1868, supporting vulnerable young people in a wide range of areas. However, it’s been unsuccessful in its bid to have a number of contracts renewed.

The centre says this could mean its unable to continue in its current form and up to 61 jobs could go. This lunchtime the job of talking to staff about the threat to their jobs has started.

Residential work is going, outreach work will cease and family services are under review.

The centre argues that the entire procurement process has been tarnished after in emerged a senior civil servant and a member of the procurement interview panel was a registered director of one of the charities shortlisted and interviewed.

South Douglas MHK David Cretney says he is contacting Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK to request he reviews the procurement process and whether there were any conflicts of interest involved following the awarding of tenders for work in children's care services. Mr Cretney is asking that any decisions be put on hold pending such a review.

Mr Cretney says he understands an appeal has been forwarded to Treasury procurement, but a number of questions remain unanswered and he would like some clarification.


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