A handy Frequently Asked Questions on the proposed closures of the children’s centres in Lambeth.
You can fill in the children’s centres consultation here.
We think it is important that in all sections you answer “strongly disagree” to all click options
This is because the council will always use the survey results to justify their cuts proposals. If they get strong disagreement in one area, they will use that to justify cuts in another area where the disagreement was not as strong.
The Council will always try to play sections of the public off against each other, they will always ask the public and service users to prioritise what services they want, and then use that information to cut some services at the expense of others. So always state “strongly disagree”.
If you make comments in the comments box of the survey it is therefore important to make the points:
- Children’s centres already faced a swinging round of cuts two year ago. Children and families should not have to suffer any more cuts to vital services.
- No children’s centres listed should be closed or have services cut back, they should all be maintained at their current level.
- The Labour council should unite the community to fight central government funding cuts not meekly pass those cuts on to local people, children and families.
- The consultation exercise should ask how we maintain and improve Children’s Centres, and also how we can expand service.
Page 6 of the consultation survey asks the question:
“Please select the top three types of services that you think we should prioritise for delivery at a link centre and tell us why”?
We think all of the services listed are important to families and should not be prioritized over each other. Having to prioritise only 3 is therefore not a fair choice. You can then say in the ‘tell us why’ comments box:
- “All of the above services are valuable to children, parents and families. Only having an option of choosing 3 is not good consultation and the survey is flawed.
- None of the services listed should be cut at the expense of others. The council should engage with the public and children’s centre users about how we maintain and improve the service to meet the needs of our communities.
The next page of the survey states:
government changes have reduced the amount of money we have available
for children’s centres, and as a result we are proposing to reduce
the number of Lambeth children’s centres from 23 to 18.
Under our proposals the following centres would have their funding withdrawn and they would no longer be Children Centres.
Please tell us the extent to which you agree or disagree with our proposals for these centres and add any comments you wish to make about any of these centres.
- Again we think you should you should click “Strongly Disagree” for all the centres listed.
- You may want to make comments on
the centre you know best or that you use. For example –
We suggest that you include the following:
- All of the services listed such as … are of course valuable. While you will have your own comments on each of those categories of service you may also want to comment:
- “all of these services are important but none should be cut at the expense of others. Such services should be maintained at their current levels or expanded based on the real needs of the local community”.
- Many good services currently run out of Children’s Centre’s are not listed anywhere above on the Consultation form such as LGBT parent groups, Art therapy for under 5’s and Counselling services.
- The Council should consult the community on how best to target and deliver the services they want at least at their current levels.
Section 6 outlines the services that would be available for children and families under these proposals. Do you have any comments you wish to make about our proposed services to:
- Support children’s early education and learning
- Support children’s and families’ health and well being
- Support children’s social and emotional development
- Wider support for families
It is not clear what the term “some extra help means” and how this would be determined and assessed or how this would be delivered if services are at a premium and have to be rationed?
You will of course have many of your own constructive and insightful comments about the children’s centres and the services you want to see them deliver, the comments we suggested above are only a rough guide what we believe are the main issues. It is vitally important that we maintain a united campaign across all the centres and services and don’t let the Council divide us or play us off against each other.
Are you a member of the Labour Party or Green Party? Pass this motion at your next branch meeting.
This branch notes:
- That as recently as 2016 Lambeth Council made swingeing cuts to children’s centres in the borough, vastly reducing the service.
- That Lambeth Council have launched a public consultation over proposals to make severe cuts to children’s centres in the borough. The proposed cuts threatens the closure of five children’s centres, a halving of provision at seven more, and many job losses.
- That children’s centres are a lifeline for parents, carers and children in the borough, providing vital services and opportunities for socialisation.
- The centres offer services that include antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding support groups, ESOL language classes, debt advice, and much more.
- The children’s centres mitigate against loneliness and isolation, and provide services aimed towards community integration and support, and as such are a central part of the borough’s preventative health and social care provision. Cuts here will likely result in greater costs elsewhere.
This branch resolves:
- To lobby its councillors in advance of the April Cabinet meeting, calling on them to to oppose the cuts to Lambeth’s children’s centre.
- To circulate the petition to all members.
- To circulate the online consultation to all members, along with guidance on how to fill it out.
- To mobilise for and join the ‘Save our Children’s Centres’ demonstration on 26th January.
- To stay in touch with the campaign to save the children’s centres, and keep members informed of actions and other ways to support.
We need good stewards who are willing to stand up for their workmates. Are you that person? Continue reading
Details of times and dates for our 2019 AGM are below
So you want to be an officer?
Below is the list of children’s centres that Lambeth Council is proposing to cut. Continue reading