As part of campaigning against council cuts, I am proposing the following motion to our Union’s AGM to launch at campaign to save Sure Start.

The council is proposing to cut £1million this year (a review will take place upto September when cuts will be proposed) and another £4million next year. Meaning a 70% cut to funds and jobs / services in Newcastle.

Here is the motion – please come to the AGM on Monday 10th February at 5pm Newcastle Civic centre to support.

Save Our SureStart

This branch notes:

  1. Sure Start Children’s Centres were launched 15 years ago to “give children the best possible start in life” and offering: early education and childcare, health, family and parenting support, access to information and services, as well as central services like training, supporting providers and funding
  2. In Newcastle it built on existing services bringing together local organisations, childcare providers, schools, council services, and parents and families to develop services led by parents and families.
  3. Sure Start funding has employed over 200 staff (council and large organisations like Barnardos and Action for Children), but also supports local groups, community centres.
  4. Sure Start has been a real success. In Newcastle Ofsted inspection regularly showed that Sure Start were rated Good and Outstanding and were consistently the highest rated area for Children’s Services.
  5. But the cuts have been devastating. Between 2011 and 2014 £3 million cuts and plans for 2014 – to 2016 are for a further £4million saving.
  6. Overall funding will have been cut from £10 million to £3million, on top of the closure of all play and youth services, cuts to family support. Vulnerable families with children are facing the brunt of these council and government cuts.

This Union branch:

  1. Opposes the proposed cuts to Sure Start, another £4million cut will be mean:- the end of vital services and opportunities for parents and young children, loss of many jobs (not just city council, but in the many voluntary sector organisations who receive the majority of Sure Start funding), risk the closure of buildings, threaten community centres and associations who rely on room bookings for Sure Start groups
  2. Set up a working group from reps from each Sure Start Children’s Centre
  3. Bring together workers and service users (parents and children), community centres and other activists to oppose the threat to Children’s Centres
  4. Consider what funds for campaigning could be made available including childcare costs
  5. Consider how we can fund and coordinate this work (for instance a regional pool bid to provide funds to release a worker from Sure Start to develop the campaign, or second a worker)
  6. Draw up an action plan for the next 12 months lobbying councillors and senior management during the consultation this year, and then again in the run up to the largest proposed cuts in March 2015