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Stoneleigh Sure Start centre earmarked for closure

May 4, 2015 9:00 PM

Another Tory cut.Surrey County Council plans to save money by closing 7 of its 58 children's centres, including Meadow Sure Start centre in Stoneleigh.

A decision to launch a "consultation" on this is due to be taken shortly by the county council's Cabinet, consiting entirely of Conservative councillors. Lib Dem and other opposition councillors may be allowed to speak at this meeting, but only Conservatives can vote.

Evidence suggests that the Sure Start system helps to promote a healthy lifestyle for children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Sure Start users are less likely to be obese by the age of 5, have better health than the average child, and also tend to have better home lives.

Sure Start centres are also beneficial for parents; allowing them to bond with other parents in their area in a friendly, low-cost environment. Many centres also offer advice to parents on issues like postnatal depression, breastfeeding, accessing local support services and finding employment.

The proposed consultation is expected to make it clear that 7 centres will definitely be closed, so if a case is made to save one on the list an alternative victim will have to be proposed to take its place.

The case for including Stoneleigh on the list appears to be that some of the families using it live across the county boundary in Sutton.

Horrified opposition councillors are urging Surrey residents to shame the Tory Cabinet into a re-think, by signing this petition on SCC's website.