Fareham Labour opposes Sure-Start cuts

Labour have condemned proposed County Council cuts to children’s services across the county and are fighting hard to defend vital services and opportunities for children and young people in the face of Tory cuts.

Under the County proposals three of the current four centres in Fareham are due to close. These are Keepsake at Portchester Community Centre; Sovereign at Brookfield Community School and Merryfields at Neville Lovett School, with only Oak Meadow in North-West Fareham set to remain open.

The last Labour Government’s Sure Start programme provided impressive support for local children and families. The Coalition Government of the Tories and the Liberal Democrats began dismantling the programme. The final end is now threatened and we must fight to protect these vital services in our community.”


Jo Hilder said: “When my children were younger, my Sure Start Centre was invaluable. It’s really comforting to know there’s someone you can ask questions.

“It’s hard being a young parent and we should be providing as much support as possible. It’s a shame the council are closing them down!”

Children’s centres offer a range of vital services to parents from pregnancy through to when children start school. Parents and children make friends, play, seek advice and support on a huge range of issues from child health, parenting, lifestyle and so much more. The Centre’s are a hive of activity with storytelling, singing, music, health visitors, breastfeeding support, advice on childcare options, links for schools, advice on language development, managing money and work and training opportunities. All of this and more is under threat from the Council’s plans and quite frankly we don’t believe that these cuts are necessary – the council has the money it just doesn’t have the will.

Oliver Brotherton, a teacher from Portchester, said: “The Tories have been cutting funding for Sure Start Centres from day one. These centres have been proven to help young parents and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We should be fighting to keep them open! Once again, this government are punishing the less well off.”

Fareham Labour calls upon Tory controlled Hampshire County Council at their meeting on 13th May to reconsider its proposals and act to preserve these vital services.