Sure Start children’s centres are vital in supporting families and helping children get the best start in life. It was the previous Labour government that recognised the importance of investing in the under-fives and aimed to establish 3,500 centres by 2010, one for every community in England.
One-third have been lost across the country since the Tories took power in 2010. Labour-run Liverpool Council has managed – despite savage Tory government cuts – to support children’s centres across the city.
New research from the Sutton Trust and Oxford University shows the centres closing at twice the rate claimed by government – up to 1,000 gone across the country rather than the 500 previously claimed.
And the trust went on to warn: ‘There is now growing evidence of a further wave of large-scale closures in the pipeline as a ‘tipping point’ is reached.’
Tory Ministers should be ashamed. The true extent of the damage their policies are causing is now being exposed.
Children’s services provide a lifeline to thousands of children and families across the country, giving the next generation the best start in life yet funding has been slashed under the Tories.
The contrast between Labour and the Tories could not be clearer.
In Labour-run Liverpool, an additional £6 million is being allocated for children’s services, in particular to fund more social workers to work with increasingly complex cases of young people coming in to care.
Meanwhile, the Tory government has presided over real-terms cuts across the country of over £956 million to children and young people’s services.
At the local elections on Thursday May 3, please use your vote to protect our vital services – especially for children – and reject the Tory government’s continuing cuts.