Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17531

Posted on 9 October 2013 at 12:08 GMT

Demonstration against cuts to Sure Start centres in Kent

Demonstration against cuts to Sure Start centres in Kent   (Click to enlarge)

Save Kent's children's centres

Don't mess with our children's future!

No closures of Sure Start children's centres - no to all cuts

Eric Segal

There is uproar across Kent over the threat to close or cut the hours of some 27 Surestart centres. Kent county councillors and MPs of all parties including Labour, Greens, Tories, Lib Dems and Ukip are opposed to the closures in their constituencies yet they all agree that 'efficiencies' have to be made.

Only parents, socialists and trade unionists are adamant that there must be no cuts. Kent county council (KCC) is threatening the closure, merger and cuts in funding and hours of 27 children's centres out of a total 97 in Kent.

The county council pays pays its 20 senior managers at least 100,000 each, with the corporate director Mr Cockburn earning 187,698 more than the prime minister. The former managing director of KCC was given a pay off last year of 420,000 after leaving in 'controversial circumstances'.

Compare these grossly inflated wages to the ideologically driven austerity cuts of 1.5 million that the fat cats in KCC want to cut from our children's centre budget.

Tory Kent county councillor Whittle is collecting evidence to promote the 'not in my back yard' closure of sure start centres through the unfair KCC consultation process by setting users of one children's centre against another.

Kent Tory MPs Damian Collins (Shepway) and Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne) support the unfair KCC consultation process.

Labour and Greens

Despite an opportunistic Labour Party petition of 2,000 opposing the planned closures and 5,000 contributions to the statutory consultation procedure the Labour councillors on KCC have not opposed this divisive approach.

The leader of the KCC Labour group said at a meeting in Dover called by the local prospective candidate and at the side of Sharon Hodgeson MP (Labour's shadow children's minister): "I am vigorously opposed to the closure of any sure start centres in Dover but there are some difficult decisions to be made and we may have to look at other areas".

The Green Party is not offering an alternative; the recently elected and only Green Kent councillor on Kent county council, said: "We had a constructive meeting today with Jenny Whittle (Tory county councillor) at the Hythe children's centre, great case put forward by mums and Hythe Bay school headmistress. Jenny is clearly genuinely trying to find ways to mitigate the pain, a rotten job but she's pursuing all avenues and gave us a lot of her time today, fingers crossed".

The Tories will not step back from ideological austerity cuts through wishful thinking by the Greens or Labour's dented shield ideology.

Councillor Whittle said: "We've reached our decision by looking at the rate of usage and the majority of users are accessing centres nearby - so where we know the footfall going through children's centres is low, the majority are using other centres and the level of need is low, we believe they're potential candidates for closure".

Demonstration

The well attended mid-morning demonstration of around 50 called by the parents through the Save Kent's children's centres, trade union councils, trade unions, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners was held on Thursday 19th September outside the last county council meeting before the decision on the closures of the children's centres.

Unison members and reps came out of county hall to leaflet councillors as they went in to discuss the proposed closures and further austerity cuts on libraries, care homes and council facilities across Kent.

The demonstration forced councillor Whittle to comment on her proposals. She said: "We are also looking at hiring out community centres and village halls and seeing if there are alternative venues. That way we will cut out expenses like cleaners and maintainance". Unison members take heed!

She was able to differentiate between Labour's policy and the organisers of the demonstration: "I didn't see them but I'm sure they made a sound case.

"But it was a socialist run protest and they are against all cuts - they need to get real. We can't go on like we are ...

"In Labour run Brent and Manchester they are having to close children's centres - so it's not just a conservative thing".

We demand that Kent county council drops its decision to close children's centres. We must unite against all cuts across the county.

We call on parents, TUSC supporters, trade unionists, socialists and community activists to mobilise general opposition to these attacks on children's centres across Kent and to link up with teachers, firefighters and public sector workers taking industrial action.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 9 October 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Kent:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleNationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

triangleGentrification scourge hits Kent

triangleAnger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

Children:

triangleA socialist programme for schools

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleFight back to stop Tories scrapping protections for children in care

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

Cuts:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

Labour:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Council:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Austerity:

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

5/8/20

Hospital

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999