Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, recently uncovered plans sneaked out by the Tories over Christmas to shut down nine Sure Start centres in Hammersmith and Fulham and turn the remaining six over to the private sector, with an expected 50 job losses.
Tory councillors plan to rubberstamp their decision, which hasn’t been debated by the full Chamber, on Monday at their Cabinet meeting. The rally is being called to show local residents' disapproval of these plans and their insistence that the voice of residents and teachers be heard.
Please come along and help force the council to think doubly hard about the decision they face.
Below is a press release issued by Andy Slaughter.
Three in five Sure Start Centres to close in Hammersmith & Fulham
Tory council's cuts prove election promise was another lie
A report sneaked out over Christmas by David Cameron's favourite Tory council says cuts of over £7 million in the budget for children’s services will mean that nine of its fifteen Sure Start centres will close, and the rest will be 'contracted out'. Fifty staff will lose their jobs.
Before the election the Tories described Labour's claim that the universally-praised centres for under-5s would lose 20% of funding as 'scaremongering'. The scheme, a flagship of the Labour Government with over 3,500 Centres opened, was described as having 'the [Conservative] Party's full commitment' by the then Shadow Children's Minister Maria Miller, who added 'we will strengthen Sure Start for every family' . The proposed cuts in Hammersmith will be at least 60%.
Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter found the details of the cuts on page 32 of a report entitled 'Family Support Programme', smuggled out quietly on the Tory council's website over the holiday period.
Mr Slaughter commented: 'This is the biggest lie yet from the parties that promised to cut tuition fees and not increase VAT. And it is targeted at the most vulnerable. Nine months after telling us they would strengthen Sure Start, they are cutting it by 60%. It's not the same old Tories - these are worse.'