Write to your councillors! Save our children’s centres!

You can help the campaign to save our children’s centres from closure
by writing to your councillors. Below is a model letter you can use, but 
feel free to make it more personal!

You can find out who your councillors are here.

Dear [councillor],

I am a local [parent/resident/Labour Party member]. I am writing to urge you to oppose the proposed cuts to Lambeth’s children’s centres.

I believe strongly that the consultation has been flawed from the outset. It provided no opportunity for respondents to argue wholesale against the cuts, instead seeking to pit users of certain centres against others, trying to make us fight over scraps.

But even taking the consultation on its own terms, the council voted to pass its budget, which included cuts to children’s centres, only three days after the consultation closed, before any councillors had an opportunity to review the findings. For this reason I believed it necessary to write to you now to express my views.

My local children’s centre/s is…
Children’s centres are important to me because…
[For example:

  • Fun for my child/ opportunities for them to socialise with other children/ they provide a safe and stimulating spaces for my children to learn and play.
  • They prevent isolation and loneliness among parents/ I have made new friends/ I have felt supported by other users and by the staff.
  • They bring communities together/ they are open to everyone no matter their background or income.
  • They help people learn new skills/ they provide advice and support during a very challenging time.
  • Any personal stories you might have!]

Not only would these cuts have an immeasurable social cost, it is well-known that they will cost the Council more money in the long-run.

For these reasons, I urge you, please, to do the following:

  1. To commit to funding our children’s centres for at least one more year, and open the books. I understand that councillors are concerned by the prospect of continuing to incur the cost of running all 23 children’s centres year on year. However, the councillors have known about the cuts to funding since 2017, but have nevertheless dropped these proposals on the community only three months before the budget is set, and we still haven’t seen a full set of accounts. During consultation meetings we have been asked for alternative solutions, but we have been offered neither full access to accounts,  nor sufficient time. Please, follow the example set by Salford Council, where, in response to a community campaign against closures to local authority nurseries, the Council committed to funding the service for a year, while alternative proposals to save and maintain a vital early years service could be considered.
  2. To support a national campaign to stop cuts to children’s centres and other early years services. Along with other local parents, campaigners and trade unionists, I will be linking up with other campaigns to save children’s centres across the country, to take action to highlight the impact of Tory austerity and lobby government to reverse the cuts and properly fund our children’s services. We urge the Council to do the same. Your help would make all the difference.

Yours sincerely,

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