Shadow Minister visits children's centre in Dover
Campaigners who want to secure the future of Sure Start centres in Dover and Deal had support today from a Labour MP.
A quarter of Kent’s Sure Start Centres are due to close, and Sharon Hodgson, the Shadow Minister for Children and Families, has taken up their case in Parliament.
Labour Shadow Minister Sharon Hodgson visits a Sure Start centre in Dover.
Accompanied by Dover and Deal's Labour parliamentary candidate Clair Hawkins, she visited Triangles Community Centre in Dover to meet staff and parents.
“David Cameron promised parents before the election that he backed Sure Start, yet while millionaires enjoy their bumper tax cuts valued services for families are being lost in Kent and across the country," she said.
“The point of Sure Start is to support families and help give every child a better start in life, so it’s shocking that the Tory administration in Kent are intent on closing centres where they are needed the most. Only Labour stands up for ordinary families, and I hope this campaign forces the Tories to back down.”
In Dover the Buttercup and Daisy children's centres would merge and relocate to the town centre, another centre at Aycliffe would have its hours reduced, and the Primrose Children's Centre in Deal would close.
Clair Hawkins, said the changes were worrying and could damage relationships children's centres had built up with local families.
“Conservative councillors say they will not close any centres in areas of high deprivation but Buttercup and Daisy Sure Start Children's Centres are in two of the most disadvantaged areas of Dover. We are told this is all about buildings not services but if we lose the buildings, will groups, activities and outreach be next?"
She is urging parents to contribute to the on-going Kent County Council consultation and to sign the Save Kent Children's Centre petition.
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