MEP joins fight for kids centres

Suffolk Euro MP Richard Howitt has joined the chorus of concern for the future funding of children’s centres threatened with closure.

The Labour MEP has called on Suffolk County Council to save the nine children’s centres and services under threat.

They include Brett River Children’s Centre in Market Place, Hadleigh, which could be merged with another children’s centre in East Bergholt, and Woodlands Children’s Centre in Shepherds Lane, Glemsford, which could be merged with the Phoenix Centre in Sudbury.

A public consultation is underway which closes on October 16, with a final decision being made in December and any changes implemented from April.

Mr Howitt said: “The help and support these local children’s centres offer parents and their young children in areas of greatest need cannot be overstated.

“The wide range of activities has been actively supported by Suffolk County Council so far, but due to government cutbacks for local authorities there is currently a consultation on the future funding and structure.

“I’m supporting parents in their demands that these centres continue to offer their excellent support for young families and do not face future cuts.

“It’s quite obvious that children get the best start in life when the community comes together, and they need our backing,” he added.