Protest organised in Woodbridge against child centre cuts
PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 September 2019
Dismay as Tory party proposals threaten to cut Suffolk’s child care facilities by a third
A rally has been organised in Woodbridge to protest against the cuts to regional child care centres in the wake of the proposed changes by the Conservative Suffolk County Council.
As part of the "Save Suffolk's Children's Centres" campaign launched in April, a march will take place in Woodbridge on Saturday, September 14.
Suffolk Coastal Labour Party have arranged the gathering and are urging members of the public to support the campaign.
Mark Jones, the constituency labour party chairman, said: "We are told by Boris Johnson that austerity is over, but Suffolk County Council continues to inflict hardship on families by cutting much needed support for parents with young children.
"It's time they gave the ordinary people of Suffolk a fair deal by keeping all the children's centres open."
Mr Jones said the centres were "a lifeline" for families in all communities across Suffolk, providing a range of services, activities and facilities.
The Caterpillar Centre on Cumberland Street in Woodbridge is under threat as part of the proposed scheme, causing anger among residents, including new mother Tarryn Perry who has signed the petition circulating on the Ipswich labour party website.
She said: "The support offered by my local children's centres was invaluable. I particularly needed the more than milk service which enabled me to keep breastfeeding my daughter. The free classes such as massage and sensory helped me bond with my daughter and gave me ideas for how to help her development and stimulate her in many ways.
"Please don't take them away."
The cabinet has agreed to present proposed changes to children's centres for a public consultation expected to take place this month.
County council leaders say the intention is to have a service "which reflects the needs of today".
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: "A full and thorough public consultation will take place so everyone who is interested can learn more about proposals to develop an offer that meets the needs of our most vulnerable families, allows us to address sufficiency in Early Years provision and helps us support young people with special education needs and disabilities."
The march will begin in Elmhurst Park at 10.30am.