Further cuts to local Children’s Centres

Labour councillors in Southend have uncovered information that points to further large scale cuts in the budget for Sure Start Children’s Centres across the town.

Labour councillors in Southend have uncovered information that points to further large scale cuts in the budget for Sure Start Children’s Centres across the town.

Following significant cuts last year, it appears that the Conservative administration in Southend hopes to slash funding by another £224,000, around 20% of real terms funding.

 

Anne Jones, Labour councillor for Kursaal ward says, “Families across the borough rely on the vital services that the Children’s Centres provide. If funding is stripped away these services can’t be sustained. The Centres will find it difficult to continue without job losses and closures in the light of such devastating cuts.”

 

 

    • Sure Start Children’s Centres were set up by the previous Labour Government to provide services (such as guidance through pregnancy, advice on health and parenting skills, and support for breast feeding mothers) across Southend from Leigh to Shoebury.
 
 
    • The 2012-13 budget saw £445,000 slashed from Sure Start, leading to Little Treasures and Cockleshell losing their Children’s Centre status. Three centres, Centre Place, Summercourt and Cambridge Road , have been negotiating since in order to come up with an arrangement which enabled all three centres to continue to deliver services to some of the most needy families in the Borough.
 
 
  • The proposed cut is 16% in cash terms but with inflation and other factors will amount to a 20% cut over two years.

 

  • Children’s Centres play a vital role in Southend’s Health and Wellbeing strategy with Public Health coming under Council control from April 2013.

 

  • Children’s Centres play a significant role in a number of key objectives and priorities, including the ‘Success for All’ and ‘Children and Young people’ plans. The council risks not been able to deliver on these important issues in the face of these and other service cuts, such as those in Community safety and Domestic Violence.

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