Frank Field MP
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The future of Wirral's Children's Centres

24
Jun

The Government has forced upon Wirral Council a host of draconian cuts.

I share the view of Phil Davies, the leader of the council, and Eric Robinson, the council’s chief executive, whose policy now is to cease the practice of dividing any government cuts or bounties equally between the four Wirral constituencies.

The schools part of Wirral’s budget has been protected, but everything else is having to share the government-inflicted pain.

One such area exposed to cuts is the budget for Wirral’s Children’s Centres. Council officers have reported on how the cuts should be made with respect to three Children’s Centres, three hubs and six satellites.

I called a meeting on Monday so I could ask interested parties’ views on the council’s proposals. The meeting forms part of a review I am leading on the future of Wirral’s Children’s Centres. My view is that the government-imposed cuts should neither be split into four equal parts across Wirral, nor should Wirral’s provision be focused solely on keeping buildings open.

Instead, we need funding decisions on children’s services to be led by ‘what works’ for children, and particularly the most disadvantaged.

We need also to ask the question of how we can best spend the money to ensure reception classes have more, not fewer, children who are properly ready to start school.

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