Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day] — Sure Start Children’s Centres

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:28 pm on 27th April 2011.

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Photo of Julie Hilling Julie Hilling Labour, Bolton West 3:28 pm, 27th April 2011

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I look forward to my right hon. Friend giving more of that information.

It is utterly unacceptable that the Government should be playing a game that says that local authorities have the funding and are therefore making the choice. The Government have cut funding to local authorities and have cut the pot of money that is funding Sure Start. They are wrong to do so and they should reconsider their decisions to harm families, children and young people struggling for survival in the dark days of high unemployment and ever-rising costs of living.

Finally, it is not enough to say that Sure Start centres will remain open. The question must be about what services remain and whether they are of the quality and quantity that prevailed previously. The answer, too often, is a resounding no. The Government should rethink their decision and truly look at how they can support children and families, without saying that the money exists within local authorities to do that, when patently it does not.