Monday, 23 February 2009


David Williams has challenged Edward Timpson MP to name which Sure Start Children's Centre he would close.

Labour's Parliamentary Candidate, David Williams, today warned that Conservative Party plans to cut £200 million each year from the Sure Start budget, could see a Crewe and Nantwich Children’s Centre forced to close its doors.

There are currently five Children’s Centres in Crewe and Nantwich. But the £200 million cut proposed by David Cameron’s Conservatives means cutting almost 20 per cent of the Sure Start budget – the equivalent of closing one in five Children’s Centres.

David Williams said:

“Parents in Crewe & Nantwich regularly tell me how much they value their local Sure Start Children’s Centre and the real help they offer with childcare, healthcare and other services for their children.

“Ten years ago there were no Children’s Centres in our area, but now there are five across Crewe and Nantwich. But if the Tories get their way and slash the Sure Start budget by £200 million one of these Children’s Centres would have to close, just at the time when families in our area need them most.

"I can only assume Mr Cameron has asked Mr Timpson which Children's Centre should close to fund the Tories' policy. It is only fair that Crewe and Nantwich parents are told as well.

“The Labour Government will keep investing in Sure Start because the early years of a child’s life are so important. We don’t want to put that at risk by letting the Conservatives cut Sure Start."

In Conservative's ‘Helping new families’ policy document published on 15 March 2008, the Conservatives committed to cutting “£200 million per year…from Children’s Centres” to spend elsewhere. This would mean cutting 19.5% from Sure Start budgets – the equivalent of one in five Children’s Centres being forced to close.

On top of this the Conservative Party is committed to restricting the Department for Children, Schools and Families budget to a 1% real terms increase from April this year - representing a £300 million cut. As yet, they have not come clean about where these cuts would fall, but this could represent further cuts to Sure Start.

There are five Sure Start Children's Centres in Crewe and Nantwich: Monks Coppenhall; Underwood West; Pebble Brook; Nantwich, and Crewe Rural.

Please click here for more information on Sure Start.

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