In spite of massive public opposition and months of campaigning, Conservative-led Suffolk County Council chose today to go ahead with its hugely controversial plans to close children’s centres across the county.
The children’s centre in Woodbridge will close, the centre in Halesworth will become part-time, and centres in Rendlesham and Saxmundham will be effectively lost when they are absorbed into adjacent nursery schools.
Cllr Jack Abbott, Labour’s spokesperson for education and young people on the Suffolk Labour Group, said: ““The ‘evidence’ backing their proposals is non-existent. They have ignored the pleas of families, children’s centre staff and social workers who have all said that these plans simply do not stack up.” Over 1,300 people signed Labour’s petition calling for the plans to be scrapped.
Suffolk Coastal Labour Party staged a massive public protest in Woodbridge last year in opposition to the Tories’ cuts to children’s centres. The Caterpillar centre in Woodbridge is one of those earmarked for closure.
Suffolk’s children’s centres were originally opened as part of Labour’s “Sure Start” programme. There were 47 in 2015. 17 will remain open full-time after the Tories’ cuts are implemented.