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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2011

Save Coventry Sure Start

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, Coventry

Earlier this year Coventry's Labour-led council proposed to remove 1 million from the annual 1.8 million budget for day care at Sure Start centres in the city. This was to plug a financial hole in other parts of the children's budget.

The proposal caused an outcry from parents and has resulted in a petition of over 3,000 in opposition. The parents' campaign was supported by local trade unionists, socialists, and other members of Coventry Against the Cuts.

The consultation has now finished. In addition to attending the local consultation meeting in Hillfields, I submitted a response in support of the parent's campaign:

"I am fundamentally opposed to the reduction from full-time care to sessional care, and the ending of any care to the under-twos. At a time of rising unemployment, placing a further barrier in front of working parents is wrong.

I also think it is a fundamental mistake to limit services to those said to be the most disadvantaged. I believe bringing together children from mixed backgrounds and abilities would continue to be beneficial to all the children and parents attending. That, in fact, I understood to be the main ethos of Sure Start.

I do not agree that the council should withdraw from this area of provision and place its hope in the private or voluntary sector filling the gap. I believe the experience, qualifications and commitment of our own [council] staff should be recognised, valued and preserved - not cut in this way.

The resources exist to 'hold the line'. The city council currently has 11.5 million in unallocated reserves - half "to cover unforeseen financial problems" and half "to help manage further unforeseen issues". The council could allocate 0.5 million in 2011/12 from those reserves and, if necessary, 1 million in 2012/13, while engaging with the parents, staff and local communities as part of a joint campaign to pressurise the government to fully fund this essential frontline service.

That would be the inclusive approach - passing on the government's cuts without challenge will end up with the council rightly sharing the blame."

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In The Socialist 23 November 2011:


Pensions' strike, N30

Enough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Reasons to be on strike


Socialist Party feature

Capitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Massive job cuts undermining NHS

Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Them & Us


The Socialist - Readers' comments

Tragic effect of recession

Why I became a socialist


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

No answers from politicians on Newsnight

Save Coventry Sure Start

Update: Occupy

Support the anti-cuts election challenge

State intimidation of young protesters

Tories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

Women: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Pensions protest in Maude's constituency


International socialist news and analysis

Why Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Ruling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Syria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

Egyptian masses fight for real change


Socialist Party workplace news

Greece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

Construction workers fight pay cuts

Fire service cuts

Bus drivers strike over pay

Workplace In brief


Obituary

Obituary - Geoff Atkins


 

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