Labour’s PPC condemns proposed closure of Harlow children’s centres
Politics / Thu 24th Oct 2013 at 11:18am
ESSEX County Council has proposed closures to two children’s centre in Harlow. Both the ABC Children’s Centre in Old Harlow and Sunflowers Children’s Centre at Sumners Leisure Centre in Broadley Road would be closed if the proposals go ahead.
Suzy Stride, Labour Parliamentary Candidate, argues the closures are disproportionately high in Harlow compared to the rest of the county. Last year, Harlow District Council led a scrutiny review into Education Attainment in the town which identified an issue of school-readiness in Harlow. Evidence showed that children under-5 in Harlow are not at the level they should be by the time they reach primary school, yet the Tory-lead administration enforcing 18% of the closures in Harlow.
In total, 11 children centres across Essex are set to close. Tory-lead County Council have also announced plans to halve the opening hours at a further 33 centres across Essex, including Burnt Mill Children’s Centre.
Suzy Stride said, “The children’s centres in Harlow provide vital services to families in Harlow, and play a crucial role in bringing the community together. We will be fighting against the Tories plans to close these centres, Labour in Government would be putting families first investing in children and parents and supporting children centres. Harlow being unfairly hit hardest by the Tory county council cuts. The Tories are out of touch, and Harlow is not their priority,”
Under the last Labour Government, Children’s centres were formerly known as Sure Start centres. The former Labour government developed a countrywide network of locations where services would be accessible to families with children five and under.
Perhaps Labour politicians should have thought of this before they ran up a massive National Debt. Where will they find the money from to keep these centres open? What about the Welfare Rights and Advice Centre they allowed to close? This is cheap political point scoring. Any cuts and closures of services is terrible for those that use them - but surely the thing to do is look to find the finance from elsewhere - rather than just go for a quick photo opportunity!