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
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."
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