The Labour council this week announced plans to push ahead with cuts to children’s centres services despite a massive 87% of parents opposed to the move in a recent consultation.
The decision will see the declassification of five children centres and a wide reduction in services in the remaining centres. 13 open access toddler groups will be discontinued, a reduction of over 50% on current service levels, while home visits for struggling families will be cut by 30 to 40%
The decision was taken at the Children, Young People and Skills Committee this week, despite strong opposition from Green councillors representing the city’s residents.
Green councillor and spokesperson on children and young people, Alex Phillips said:
“The Labour Council administration has completely failed to listen to residents with this decision to cut a wide range of services in children’s centres.
“This decision will see parents and toddler groups cut by half despite rising demand, cuts to parenting courses proven to prevent children entering care, and a 30-40% reduction in home visits for families in crisis. With another decision expected this week to cut a vital play service for young children from deprived areas, Labour seem to be writing off a generation of kids.
“The changes to children’s centres are being pushed forward by the council despite 80% of parents opposing the cuts in the consultation, which has left many asking what the point of the consultation was in the first place.
“We recognise the difficult situation the council finds itself in following cuts by Conservative central government. But Labour has a choice as to where the axe must fall and how better to decide in a democratic system than by listening to residents themselves? Unfortunately, Labour has shown utter disregard for residents views and proven yet again they are the council that doesn’t listen”.