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COMMENT: County will have a fight on its hands over centres
9:00am Saturday 12th October 2013 in News
CLOSING most of the county’s children’s centres is not likely to be popular.
The centres were set up in the early years of Tony Blair’s time in power as he looked to tackle deprivation.
Their aim was to make sure all children, no matter what their background, had a decent chance in early life.
Whether they have been a complete success is a matter of debate.
But the blunt assessment made to council staff that almost all of them could be closed has not gone down well with parents.
Not every measure that intends to help children get a proper start in life should be sacrosanct, come what may.
Well-intentioned schemes that we cannot afford do sometimes have to be cut, particularly when public funds are stretched.
But serious scrutiny needs to be made of what the county council is planning to do here.
And it seems like the authority will have a fight on its hands.
On Monday, it intends to launch a series of talks to explain the multi-million-pound cuts programme it has warned it will implement to make savings.
The Government’s own attempts to cut the deficit are the root cause of this.
Yet during the talks, the authority will no doubt get some serious flak.
Some of it will be deserved and some of it, the council will feel, is unjustified.
But as we all look ahead at the grim reality of further slashes being made to public services, this is one area where the council is going to find it very hard to win public sympathy.
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