13 March 2011

Lambeth protects children's centres against Tory cuts

Lambeth Labour have pledged not to close any Sure Start children’s centres in Lambeth, despite the Tory government cutting funding by 21% in just one year.

David Cameron and George Osborne have abandoned their promise to protect Sure Start, and are instead slashing budgets by hundreds of millions across the UK, with poor areas like Lambeth singled out for bigger cuts. The Early Intervention Grant which pays for children’s centres has been cut by over £5 million in Lambeth, equivalent to a £90 cut for every young person. Labour councillors are fuming that the Tory-led Government appears to be protecting wealthier boroughs like Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Windsor and Maidenhead, who are seeing a cut of only £30 a head.

Photo of Liz Atkinson Children's Centre, Vassall Wardm SW9
Despite the Tory betrayal, Lambeth’s Labour administration has pledged to protect Lambeth’s entire network of 27 children’s centres, which are vital to ensure very young children and their families get the very best start in life. No Lambeth children’s centre will close this year despite the cuts, and Labour have ring fenced more than £13 million to spend on early years. This is good news for the Liz Atkinson Children's Centre on Mostyn Road, SW9 in Vassall Ward (pictured) which can continue to work with the young people of Vassall Ward.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Pete Robbins said: ‘We are furious that Lambeth has been singled out for bigger cuts by the Tory Government – by cutting too far and too fast and asking children to bear the brunt, they are showing that they have no idea what pressure ordinary families are under. As a Labour administration we have no hesitation in pledging to protect Lambeth’s children’s centres from closure. Early Intervention services like Sure Start Children’s Centres do vital work with local families to improve health, education and life chances for their children.”

Lambeth has lost over £6million in grants for services like Children’s Centres, which is on top of the £79m of savings the Council must make after the Tory-led government slashed its budget by a third.
Further information
Full list of Lambeth's Children's Centres on Lambeth website
Details of the Liz Atkinson Children's Centre in Vassall Ward