Mansfield’s so-called ‘supernanny’ made redundant by the council

Anne Callaghan, Mansfield's so-called 'super nanny', receiving a BEM in 2015.
Anne Callaghan, Mansfield's so-called 'super nanny', receiving a BEM in 2015.

Mansfield’s so-called ‘supernanny’ who has supported hundreds of vulnerable and challenged Nottinghamshire families has been made redundant by the council.

Anne Callaghan, who has worked in the role since 2007, was originally employed by Nottinghamshire County Council before Mansfield District Council look over funding in 2012.

Her role, officially called parenting practitioner, initially saw funding provided by central government to county councils and social care authorities, however when funding stopped seven years ago the district council took her on.

She was part of an early intervention project and was even given a British Empire Medal in 2015 for her services to children’s care.

Mansfield District Council blamed tight budgets for the redundancy, but Ms Callaghan said problems were “not going to go away”.

Ms Callaghan, who leaves her post this week, told the BBC: “I am sad and disappointed.

“I understand the decision due to budget cuts, but we have lots of deprived families that do need help.

“We have high levels of that, it’s not going to go away, and without early intervention it will be a case of managing crisis - and we know that doesn’t work.”

Anne co-ordinated and ran a range of programmes for families struggling with teenage children, or who needed help in parenting very young children.

Helping them to tackle behavioural issues in the early stages, she gave parents the skills and guidance to deal with a range of problems, including anti-social behaviour, truanting, violence and substance abuse.

Hayley Barsby, Mansfield District Council’s chief executive, said: “The role of parenting practitioner was a Government funded project, which Mansfield District Council continued to support for several years since the funding ceased.

“As a result of reductions in Central Government funding, this council has had to look seriously at the core services it provides. As this was deemed to be a county council function it is with great regret that the council is no longer able to support it at a local level.

“Mansfield District Council provided this service for a considerable amount of time over and above other local authorities and we recognise the impact of the project and support that has been given to vulnerable families during this time.”

However Labour’s prospective candidate for Mansfield, Councillor Sonya Ward, thinks the redundancy will be “dangerous” for struggling families.

The councillor for Bull Farm and Pleasley said: “I have worked with Anne before on many occasions because of the support she provides for vulnerable people in my ward.

“I’ve heard so many good things about her from residents and I think it is a travesty that her role has been cut from the council’s budget.

“We’ve known there are redundancies coming for a while because of continued government cuts to the budget, however I think it is brought back to home when there is a face to them and people know who she is.

“However I also believe the council needs to priorities its finance properly because it has just lost £80,000 on a one-month ice rink when we could carry on funding Anne’s work for a few years supporting countless families.”