Thursday, 23 June 2011

Row in Parliament over H&F Sure Start cuts

The cuts to Sure Start in our borough were again the subject of heated political debate in Parliament on monday, specifically the attempts that MP Andy Slaughter alleges is being made by our council to circumvent a court challenge to the threatened Cathnor Park Children’s Centre.

It would appear that despite a mother having brought a legal challenge the council is pressing ahead with cuts to staff before the court has had a chance to make a ruling. In response the hearing has been fast-tracked and brought forward to Friday.

Speaking to Minister for Decentralisation Greg Clark, of the Department for Communities and Local Government, Mr Slaughter said:

"That is all very interesting, but from next month, nine Sure Start centres in Hammersmith and Fulham will lose more than 90% of their funding, and therefore will close. Parents at one of them—Cathnor Park—have got a judicial review going, but they are having to expedite it, because the council is going ahead with 50 redundancies and closing services, despite the fact that the courts have not yet considered these matters. Will the Minister at least go as far as advising that rogue council not to proceed with those closures until the courts and the parents have had their fair say?"
The Minister was having none of it, he replied:
"That is a superb council, and it certainly does not need any advice from me. In fact, I am astonished that the hon. Gentleman has not taken the opportunity to congratulate his council on saving every library in the borough, by merging the service with neighbouring boroughs, and on saving £1 million. When he was leader of the council, he doubled the council tax and his Labour administration was booted out at the election. The current, Conservative administration was returned with a healthy majority at the last council election"

1 comment:

  1. Surely what H&F are doing is illegal? How on earth can they continue to make cuts against a potential court order?