Sad News For Sure Start: 124 Centres Have Closed Since Coalition Came To Power

18/11/2011 12:30 | Updated 22 May 2015
David CameronPA

Since the Coalition Government came to power, 124 Sure Start centres have been shut.

Education Minister, Lord Hill of Oareford, has released figures that show the number of centres has dropped from 3,631 in April, to 3,507 in September.

Labour say the figures raise questions about Prime Minister David Cameron's claims that he's committed to helping to reduce child poverty.

Sure Start was introduced by Labour to provide help and support to parents from pregnancy through to primary school, and was hailed as a success.

"The truth behind David Cameron's claim that he is committed to Sure Start has been exposed by his Government's own figures," commented Stephen Twigg, the Shadow Education Secretary.

"With 124 centres closed already since he became Prime Minister, families will be worried that even more will close in future. Sure Start is one of Labour's proudest achievements, but this out of touch Tory-led government is putting it at risk."

Lord Hill argued just six of the centres had actually closed, and the others were a case of 're-organisation': "Of the reduction of 124 children's centres, six are outright closures; the remainder are accounted for by local re-organisations such as the merger of two or more centres.

"The Government attaches high importance to the role that Sure Start children's centres play, which is why through the early intervention grant we have put in the funding to maintain a national network of Sure Start children's centres."

During last year's general election, before he came to power, David Cameron said he 'backed Sure Start'.

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