Cllr Megan Swift is warning that Conservative budget proposals could force the closure of the day care at Calderdale’s Children’s Centres. And she is accusing local Conservative councillors of going back on previous campaigns to save the service.
Cllr Swift said: “Hidden away in the small print of their budget, the Conservatives have a plan to remove a so-called ‘subsidy’ to day care costs in children’s centres.
“They don’t spell out what this means anywhere in their PR spin, but this could spell the end of day care places at children’s centre like the one at Wellholme Park in Brighouse.
“Four years ago, we consulted local parents about precisely this proposal. They told us how damaging it would be, and the Labour council leadership listened and dropped the plan.
“At the time, Brighouse Conservative councillor Scott Benton said –
‘The decision to remove funding from the Children’s Centre will potentially mean that it will have to close. This would be absolutely devastating for the many local parents who rely on the Centre and the excellent care that it provides. … I completely support the parents in trying to keep the Centre open.’
“Now as leader of the Conservative group, he is proposing the very cuts that he opposed just a short time ago – and he is not spelling out his plans to local parents. There are only a few days for parents to comment on the Conservative’s last-minute budget amendment, but I urge people to get in touch and have their say about this damaging proposal.”
In addition to the Children’s Centre at Wellholme Park, Brighouse, the Conservative cuts could also threaten day care at centres from Todmorden to Halifax.