Sarah Teather has wrongly claimed with the headline on her website that ‘Labour Council chooses to close Sure Start centres’.
Firstly ALL OF BRENT’S SEVENTEEN SURE START CENTRES have been protected in this years budget contrary to Lib Dem promotional material. This is in the backdrop of 20% cuts to Sure Start funding from £10 million to £8 million from… wait for it… the Minister for Children and Brent Central MP Sarah Teather.
The Brent Lib Dems continue to claim that they are giving more money for Sure Start.
However, the coalition has not protected the Sure Start budget as David Cameron has said. It has amalgamated funding for the centres into a new “early intervention grant” (EIG), which also includes funding for programmes related to teenage pregnancy, mental health and youth crime. So Brent has to use the money we spend in this area and put it all into one pot of spending to include Sure Start. A bit underhand from Sarah Teather and the Brent Lib Dems but we expect it.
Cllr Mary Arnold, Brent’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said:
“Sure Start is one of the greatest achievements of the last Labour Government. Labour investment in Sure Start recognised that investing in children yields returns for all of us in society.
The coalition’s cuts to Sure Start funding are a tragic mistake. This decision follows cuts to BSF, trebling of tuition fees, and the abolition of EMA. As usual young people are the victims of right-wing slash and burn attitudes to the welfare state.
I’m proud that my Council colleagues have found a way to protect all our centres. Let’s hope there’s a new Government soon which recognises that Brent’s children all deserve a sure start in life.”