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Emily Outside Manor Park Childrens Centre

Photo – Emily Outside Manor Park Children’s Centre

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton Cheam, Emily Brothers has today attacked Lib Dem Sutton Council for dishonesty over proposals to close the borough’s 14 Children’s Centres.
Responding to Sutton Council’s decision to apply 14% cuts across all local Children’s Centres in October 2014, Ms Brothers predicted this would lead to closures. At the time she said:
“I’m alarmed by the Lib Dem axe now salami slicing Children’s Centres on the grounds of fairness, arguing that it spreads the pain equally.
“I’m perplexed by their decision to cut services in this way ahead of determining the longer term strategy for Children’s Centres and the redesign of provision. They’ve got into another muddle by failing to put strategy ahead of delivery.
“I want to see a vision that meets family needs, not this crude Lib Dem reaction to financial pressures. That will only take Sure Start to a sure end.”

Emily at Entrance to Thomas Wall Children’s Centre

Photo – Emily at Entrance to Thomas Wall Children’s Centre

In response to proposals released today Ms Brothers attacked Lib dem Sutton Council, saying:
“I’m appalled by the duplicity of Liberal Democrats. When I challenged them previously, they came out with the usual procrastination. They failed yet again to be honest with local people. You simply can’t trust them, as they will break promise after promise.
“We were told that the 14% salami cut would make Children Centres fit for purpose and services would be protected as a result. In the background they were planning closures all along, just as I predicted.
“Lib Dem Sutton Council show yet again that it lacks strategic direction, failing to understand how important Children Centres are to families in our borough. I may sound like a broken record reacting yet again to another Lib Dem broken promise, but I simply repeat that they should take another step back and consider a fresh approach: integrating services into a cluster of Family Support Centres - bringing local authority community and social care services together with community based health services.
“Sure Start children's centres need to be more ambitious and at the heart of local authority health and well-being boards' early intervention and preventative strategies. They need to reach community and voluntary groups, to provide seamless support to local families. That’s why the next Labour Government is committed to integrating health, social care and other public services.
“Developing a hub and three support centres is peacemeal. It is a structural proposal rather than, not based on the needs of local children. At a time that we have growing numbers of children in Sutton which is leading to school expansion, the Liberal Democrats seek to reduce Sure Start support. It is ridiculous, but don’t be surprised to find there isn’t any provision at all within a few years.”


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