Search

Jeremy Corbyn joining battle to save Norfolk’s children’s centres

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be visiting Norfolk this weekend and lending his voice to the fight to protect the county's children's centres. Picture: PA Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be visiting Norfolk this weekend and lending his voice to the fight to protect the county's children's centres. Picture: PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn will join the fight to protect Norfolk’s children’s centres during a visit to the county this weekend.

Councillor Mike Smith-Clare, labour lead for children and young people, at the protest at County Hall against the closure of the children's centres. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCouncillor Mike Smith-Clare, labour lead for children and young people, at the protest at County Hall against the closure of the children's centres. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Labour leader will be visiting one of the 46 children’s centres earmarked for closure as part of proposals by Norfolk County Council to restructure the service.

A consultation is on-going into the plans which would see all but a handful of Norfolk’s 53 publicly run children’s centres close.

On his visit to North City Children’s Centre in Angel Road, Norwich on Saturday, Mr Corbyn will highlight figures showing that 23,000 children under the age of five have used Norfolk’s children’s centres in the past year.

He is expected to warn of a “national emergency” facing children’s services, as well as cautioning of the “long-term damage” which cuts to funding could cause to children’s lives.

Mr Corbyn said: “Cutting the services that protect and support children and young people is a tragic false economy that will blight the lives of millions of children and young people.

“These cuts risk more children ending up in care, excluded from school or falling prey to gang violence. This is a national emergency.

“If austerity is over as Theresa May has claimed, the chancellor must use the Budget next week to provide the funds urgently needed to keep children safe.”

The Labour leader’s visit to Norwich comes after a coalition of 120 organisations including charities, teaching unions and medical colleges sent an open letter to Philip Hammond and Theresa May warning that children’s services are at breaking point.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Great Yarmouth. Pictured with PCs Andy Andy Hunt and Nigel Robinson.
 Picture: ANTONY KELLYLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Great Yarmouth. Pictured with PCs Andy Andy Hunt and Nigel Robinson. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Local authorities have also warned that council-run children’s services are fast approaching a “tipping point” and are struggling to maintain services in the face of a funding gap which could reach £3bn by 2025.

This week also saw the Local Government Association (LGA) publish Department for Education figures which show that the number of children nationally who are supported through a child protection plan to keep them safe from harm has seen its biggest increase in four years in the past 12 months.

The number now stands at almost 54,000, 84pc higher than a decade ago.

The LGA says these figures prove that funding for children’s services must be addressed in Monday’s Budget.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, speaking at a members event in Great Yarmouth with Alex Mayer MEP in 2017. Picture: Ian BurtJeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, speaking at a members event in Great Yarmouth with Alex Mayer MEP in 2017. Picture: Ian Burt

What is happening to Norfolk’s children’s centres?

Jeremy Corbyn’s visit comes at a time of turmoil for Norfolk’s children’s centres.

A consultation is currently under way over proposals from Norfolk County Council to close 46 of the county’s 53 children’s centres, as part of a review into the service.

Seven of the existing children’s centres would remain open as bases in each of the county’s districts.

County Hall bosses say the move would bring services out of buildings and into the community and would help provide more support to the children and families most in need. They say places such as schools, village halls and libraries could host the services currently provided in children’s centres.

In February the council halved its budget for children’s centres from £10m to £5m, with the contracts for the 12 current services providers due to come to an end next year.

The consultation runs until Friday, November 9 and can be viewed at www.norfolk.gov.uk/childrenscentres.

Other news

Part of the A47 has been closed in both directions after a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturned.

Yesterday, 15:50

The A47 has reopened between Easton and Honingham after being closed for around seven hours due to a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturning.

Yesterday, 15:09

Norfolk’s police commissioner is concerned that only five per cent of people report being the victim of a scam.

Yesterday, 13:49

Breckland Council is in the running for a prestigious national prize after being shortlisted in the 2019 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

Most Read

Part of the A47 has been closed in both directions after a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturned.

Read more
England Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 15:50

The A47 has reopened between Easton and Honingham after being closed for around seven hours due to a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturning.

Read more
England Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 15:09

Norfolk’s police commissioner is concerned that only five per cent of people report being the victim of a scam.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:49

Breckland Council is in the running for a prestigious national prize after being shortlisted in the 2019 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

Read more
Breckland Council
Yesterday, 10:21

The Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, was given a warm welcome on his return to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Read more
Norwich

Most Commented

Part of the A47 has been closed in both directions after a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturned.

Read more
England Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 15:50

The A47 has reopened between Easton and Honingham after being closed for around seven hours due to a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturning.

Read more
England Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 15:09

Norfolk’s police commissioner is concerned that only five per cent of people report being the victim of a scam.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:49

Breckland Council is in the running for a prestigious national prize after being shortlisted in the 2019 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

Read more
Breckland Council
Yesterday, 10:21

The Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, was given a warm welcome on his return to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Read more
Norwich

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Dereham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy