Mountfields Petition - Stuart Brady and activists
Mountfields Petition - Stuart Brady and activists

NEWS FROM LEICESTERSHIRE LABOUR:  CALLS FOR TORIES IN LEICESTERSHIRE TO RULE OUT CHILDREN’S CENTRES CLOSURES AS NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN CARE RISES BY NEARLY 50 PER CENT

Tories in Leicestershire are being asked to urgently drop plans to close Children’s Centres in the County following reports by the Leicester Mercury that the number of children taken into care has risen by 50 per cent in five years.

Over 550 children are now looked after by the county, leading to an over spend of nearly £2.5million in the social care budget.

Despite these shocking figures, the Conservative controlled Council is currently looking at closing 24 Children’s Centres across the County.  Reports from the leading thinkers in this area, the Sutton Trust, show that early intervention targeted at disadvantaged communities is proven to work.

Labour call on the Conservatives to stop cuts to essential early intervention work and consider the long term, expensive problems caused by any closures.

Dr Terri Eynon, Labour Group Leader at Leicestershire County Council said:

 

“It’s devastating to see the number of children in care rising at such an alarming rate in Leicestershire.  Being taken into care can be an incredibly difficult and painful experience for the parents and children, not to mention the additional costs that it incurs for all residents in the County.

“I sincerely hope the Tories can see that these figures will only rise further, if they proceed with their plans to close Children’s Centres in Leicestershire.  We know for a fact these centres provide excellent help and support for families in the early stages, support that prevents problems spiralling and ultimately landing on the door of social services.

“To reduce the support available for young mums and dads is a complete false economy and my fear is that the cost of children’s care will only escalate is centres close.”

Stuart Brady, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Loughborough said:

“I made the point at the Leicestershire County Council Sure Start consultation meeting in Loughborough in April that the closure of the majority of the Council’s Sure Start Centres will have a social and economic cost in the long term through care proceedings.

“In fact at that meeting Paul Meredith, Director of Children and Family Services, agreed that the long term cost of the closures to the Council, through care proceedings and the like, would outweigh any saving.

“It’s clear any small saving from shutting Sure Start will be outweighed by the costs of expensive court cases resulting from family breakdown.  Such proceedings also have a very high emotional and disruptive toll on all involved especially the children.  We as a society need to ensure we invest in public services that can avoid them.

“The Tories are yet to make their final decision on the closure of Leicestershire’s Children’s Centres, but I hope they see these rising figures, listen to the parents, and drop the short-sighted plans for any closures.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

  • Stuart Brady available for interview
  • The Children’s Centres and other buildings under threat of closure are:
  • Cobden, Loughborough,
  • Shelthorpe, Loughborough
  • Warren Hills in Coalville,
  • Mountsorrel
  • Barwell
  • Desford
  • Hinckley Westfield
  • Hinckley West
  • The Cove, Melton
  • The Edge, Melton
  • Ashby
  • Ibstock
  • Moira
  • Thringstone
  • Braunstone Town
  • Countesthorpe
  • South Wigston
  • Anstey
  • Broughton Astley
  • Fleckney
  • Bushby
  • Bagworth
  • Vale of Belvoir
  • Fairmead
  • Market Harborough Young People’s Centre

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