The Socialist 29 February 2012
We won't work for free!
Kirklees Sure Start children centres
Jackie Grunsell, Huddersfield Socialist Party
"Kirklees council looks set for U-turn on proposal to downgrade children's centres" proclaimed the headline in Huddersfield's local paper.
This comes after several weeks of intensive campaigning to save the Sure Start centres from plans to dramatically reduce the services they provide.
The council's so-called consultation process, now at an end, means a decision will be made in March. The campaign organised public meetings of many angry parents and staff. 5,000 petition signatures forced a full council debate on the issue.
The press has been bombarded as have our local elected representatives, leading to support from three MPs and enough councillors to hold up the cuts and hopefully stop them altogether.
Protesters lobbied the council's budget-setting meeting to make their voices heard. The leader of the council has been forced to state an intention that "the range of acute, intermediate and universal services will be available in each area".
However, the campaign is waiting to see the details of new proposals and isn't taking anything for granted. We have to keep the pressure up but we clearly stand a chance of winning.
The next step is a demonstration through the streets of Huddersfield. We urge anyone who can to attend.
Assemble 12.30pm, Saturday 3 March, St George's Square, outside Huddersfield railway station
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