Tory SureStart cuts will hurt Blackheath Westcombe

What’s the best way to help young families in Blackheath Westcombe? SureStart Children’s Centres have been a hugely successful initiative created the Labour government with support from the local council.

Surestart centres offer a range of services to support young children such as playgroups, toy libraries, parenting classes and also often childcare – as well as help for struggling families, like support in claiming benefits. We have three Centres nearby: Robert Owen, Invicta and Sherington.

The good thing about Sure Start is that they’re open to all children and families – and are spread across all neighbourhoods, so that parents and children from different social backgrounds mix. That’s the particular strength of Sure Start in the Blackheath Westcombe area.

Conservative policy is to reduce the number of Sure Start centres, and focus them on areas supposed to be in greatest “need”. If elected to power the Tories aim to ‘refocus’ the Sure Start budget, and cut £200 million from the Sure Start budget, meaning Children’s Centres in areas like ours, which have a mixed population would close. Join the campaign against the Conservative cuts by signing the petition here.

This is an example of the Tories wanting to cut an universal local public service- free to everyone at the point of use.

It’s also a good example of the Conservatives overly bureaucratic approach to poverty-reduction. The principles behind Labour’s Sure Start programme are simple – every neighbourhood should have the same set of services. Instead, the Conservatives will use a complex formula to give some areas more and some less – meaning people on one side of the road will be able to access to different services than those who live on the other.

We don’t think that’s fair. We think Blackheath Westcombe badly needs more, not fewer, services for young children – and we’re campaigning both for more local childcare facilities and to stop the Tory cuts in our area.


One Response to Tory SureStart cuts will hurt Blackheath Westcombe

  1. Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!

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