Save Suffolk's Children's Centres

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Our children's centres are a vital lifeline for hundreds of families, providing a number of invaluable services for children and parents across Suffolk.

However, the Conservatives at Suffolk County Council plan to make cuts to more than HALF of our remaining children's centres - the opening hours of 11 children's centres will be reduced, while another 11 will close entirely. This means that 22 out of 38 children's centres are facing cuts, a devastating prospect for children and families in our county.

We have a range of concerns relating to the proposed cuts and the accompanying consultation - some are listed below:

- The information that accompanied the consultation was inaccurate and out of date;

-  The consultation questions offered a one-sided, leading view of why the new proposals are the best and only option we have. The reality is that there are alternatives and this consultation deliberately failed to include them;

- There is absence of quantitative analysis, qualitative evidence or independent, expert opinion to justify these cuts;

- Huge swathes of a predominantly rural county, which has already suffered from widespread bus service cuts, will be left unable to access a full-time children's centre;

- We have seen the impact the new school transport policy has had on Suffolk's families. Like these proposals, warnings were made about the lack of evidence to justify the changes but went unheeded. The same mistake must not be made again.

We aren't opposed to change when there is a thoughtful, evidence-led approach which looks to improve public services, not diminish them. However, we are opposed to these closures because none of these things are true in this instance.

We are calling on the Conservatives at Suffolk County Council to avert the damage that will be caused to families by immediately ending their plans to close our county's children's centres.