- New research reveals in that in Salford 12 Sure Start centres have been lost since 2010, and just 4 designated children’s centres remain in the borough.
- There are now over 1,240 fewer designated Sure Start children’s centres across the country than when the Tories took office – a fall of around 34 per cent since 2010.
- Over 230 have been lost in the last year alone.
The local Labour MP has spoken out as new figures reveal that 12 local Sure Start centres have been lost from the 16 that were serving local families when the Tories’ took power in 2010, leaving just 4 designated children’s centres serving the entire borough.
The figures, released in response to Freedom of Information requests, revealed that over a thousand Sure Start centres, around a third of the total, have been lost across England in the same period. The 75% cut in Sure Start provision for Salford is one of the worst reductions in the country.
David Cameron had promised to protectthe service during the 2010 election, saying that the Conservatives would be ‘the most family friendly government we’ve ever had’.
Rebecca Long Bailey, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, said:
“We had been promised by the Tories that they would be the ‘most family friendly Government we’ve ever had’ and that Sure Start was safe with them. But these figures reveal that they are not keeping their word. Even worse, they show that the government has singled out areas like Salford to bear the brunt of their cuts.
“It is not family friendly to cut vital services that have changed the lives of so many. It is not family friendly to remove one of the key drivers of social mobility for the most disadvantaged in our society. It is not family friendly to leave parents up and down the country unable to afford the childcare they need.
“Labour opened over 3,500 Sure Start centres to support working families across the country, but we are seeing provision slashed under the Tories, and it will be local parents and children who pay the price for their broken promises.”
Councillor Lisa Stone, Lead Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services, said:
“Since 2010, children’s services have seen cuts of almost £20 million, a 30% reduction per head, whilst at the same time we have seen rapid growth of the child population, with a 6% increase, or over 3500 extra children.”
“Having taken 47% of funding from Salford since 2010, the closure of 75% of Salford Sure Start centres is yet another example of how this Government are failing children in Salford.”
Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“This research exposes the truth behind the Tories’ claim to be protecting Sure Start. They use cheap accounting tricks - like pointing to buildings which are still open but running seriously reduced services – to try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. But the facts speak for themselves. On the same measure that was used in 2010, Sure Start has been slashed.
“There are a third fewer designated centres than there were when the Tories came to office nationally, and it’s even worse in many areas.
“We know that because we asked local authorities, those tasked with running these vital services, and that’s what they told us. The Tories are taking us backwards. It’s a scandal that local families are being left to pick up the pieces.”