Don’t cut child care funding!
My colleague Cllr Ross Houston of West Finchley ward outlines our opposition to cuts to children's centres.
I was appaled to hear that the Newstead Surestart centre in East Finchley was facing an eye popping 35% cut in funding. Cuts have to be made, but where you make them and how is a statement of the council's priorities. They have targeted the young and the poor with the worst cuts.
Surestart centres are an investment in the future of our young. They support poor families and children with issues that it is best to try and deal with from an early age. The focus of Government expenditure over the last decade was to remove it from the higher education end (hence the introduction of tuition fees) to make the investment in early years, which improve life chances, and the probability of going to university in any case. That was a tough choice but the right one. The current government have decided to kneecap both ends, with their high tuition fee rises and then locally these cuts.
It is a shame that the council puts the most vulnerable, the poorest and the youngest in the firing line whenever asked to do so. They should think again at their approach, before it's too late.
But it's a question of priorities. In contrast, if you look at a Labour council like the newly elected one in Birmingham, the first item of their agenda was to pay a living wage to all employees. We want to protect the pow paid, the Tories do not.