Friday, 5 July 2013

Greens condemn closure of Children's Centres

KCC Green Party Councillor, Martin Whybrow, and Ian Driver, Thanet District Green Party Councillor,Ian Driver, have condemned KCC's proposals to close 23 of Kent's 97 Children's Centres andreduce the opening hours of another 13 including the Garlinge, Callis Grange and Birchington centres in Thanet which will have their opening times slashed by half. Those touted for closure include New Romney and either The Village in Folkestone or Folkestone (currently Folkestone Early Years).

Councillor Whybrow said: "Kent's Children's centres have played a vitally important support role for families across the county. They pioneered an integrated approach to service delivery, bringing together under one roof,health, social care, advice and education which helped our youngsters to the best possible start in life. To cut this vital service on such a massive scale will cause serious hardship for thousands of children and their families. If ever there was an ill-conceived false economy this must it."

Councillor Driver added: "The Kent Green Party will becampaigning against these cuts.We appeal toKent people to lobby their County Councillors to vote against the plan. We also encourage people to take part in KCC's online consultation at http://kent.gov.uk/education_and_learning/childcare_and_early_education/childrens_centres/shaping_the_future_of_centres.aspx and express their opposition to these plans.

Councillor Whybrow added: "The unprecedented attempt to shrink local government is starting to have a profound effect on public services in Kent and Medway but this is only the start." The further reduction of the local government budget set out in the chancellor's recent spending review for 2015-16 will hit services that have already been cut to breaking point. Having achieved savings of 26 percent in the current four-year period, local government is now incurring the biggest cuts in the public sector, with another 10 percent reduction in the budget. "With the government singularly failing to meet its targets for reducing the structural deficit, it means there is no end in sight to the pressure on local government and this is bound to have a negative impact on front-line public services such as these."

Ends

FURTHER INFORMATION: Councillor Martin Whybrow, Green Party County Councillor for Hythe, on 01303 269827 or 07787 124794. For Thanet specific comment, contact Councillor Ian Driver on 07866 588766. Contact address above. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org

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