Anne Snelgrove, Labour’s South Swindon PPC, today met with parents and children unhappy with Swindon Borough Council’s proposed cuts to Children Centres that hark back to the old days of unqualified playgroups.
Commenting on the cuts Anne said:
“Swindon Borough Council is proposing to end Children’s Centres as we know them – they’re sounding the death knell for the excellent service we currently have in Swindon
“Many well qualified and experienced early years’ staff have already been made redundant. In their place, the Tories expect mums and dads to step in. It’s going to be glorified baby-sitting – instead of what we have now: good quality, structured Ofsted measured preparation for primary school”.
Furthermore, Anne questions the way this is being done:
“The consultation is rushed and deliberately timed to coincide with family holidays. By the time most families with children aged under five return from holiday and realise what’s going on, they will have missed their chance to comment”.
With funding being cut for most children, Anne is calling on Tory councillors to prioritise constituents:
“I know money’s tight, but other councils facing the same financial squeeze have not cut under-fives funding in the way Swindon is proposing. It’s all about priorities – instead of a £15m car park, I would put the money into Children’s Centres.
“That is why I am setting up the Swindon Commission for Early Years, which will report alternative solutions in the autumn”