A report into flexible working practices at Lambeth Council makes very essential reading for all staff
Management agree to all the demands, strike action suspended
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has sent us a letter of solidarity Continue reading
A guest article from Paul van Heeswyk, a Consultant Child Psychotherapist, about the importance of Early Years funding and Children’s Centres.
There is a strike of UNISON members working in the Civic Centre on Monday 11th February. This affects two teams, Technical Services and Capital Works. Continue reading
This is a sample letter to send to your local councillor. Feel free to customise it so its personal to you.
You may wish to highlight benefits such as:
Allowing your child to socialise with others
Learning new parenting techniques from staff and fellow users
Getting you out of the house to improve your own and your child’s physical and mental well being
Connecting you with a community of parents especially where you don’t have family and close friends nearby
Helping you to get back into work after taking time out to parent young children
You can find out who your councillors are here.
I am a local [parent/resident/Labour Party member]. I am writing to urge you to stop the cuts to Lambeth’s children’s centres.
The money the council proposes to save each year from these cuts is tiny compared to the social cost caused by the reduction in the service. I therefore strongly believe that no cuts should be made. No families’ access to the valuable services children’s centres provide should be sacrificed for the benefit of others.
Children’s centres provide so many benefits for the different needs of its users. I particularly value the services it provides because…
[insert you reasons here!}
It upsets me greatly that as a result of the councils proposals families will not always be able to access this service due to greater pressure on what remains, or not being able to physically get to a centre because there is nothing near to them. It is well known that early intervention is the key to more equality in education and helps prevent undesirable mental and social outcomes for our children. Lambeth should find other solutions to managing the cuts to its finances in a way that preserves the early years service at its current levels. We know that cuts have already been made and further ones will cause irreparable harm. There will also be losses of staff that know our community and what our children need through years of service and experience.
For these reasons, I urge you as my representative, please, to do the following:
- 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 Lambeth residents with very short notice and have held a difficult consultation process in which the strongest message was not to make the cuts at all. During consultation meetings parents 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, with regard to proposed Nursery closures, commit to funding the service for the next year, and take the extra time, to develop alternative proposals to save and maintain this vital early years service.
- To support a national campaign to stop central government cuts to children’s centres and other early years services.