Local parents, residents and trade unionists in Lambeth are campaigning against the latest round of cuts to children’s centres. Lambeth Council’s proposals would close five of 23 children’s centres in the borough, and cut in half the provision at another seven centres.
Children’s centres are places for children to play, and, for parents, a point of access to a range of services from ESOL classes, through breastfeeding sessions, to LGBT parenting support groups. The right-led Labour Council have been running a public consultation since mid-December, which has been met with a huge backlash from children’s centre users and other local residents.
The Green opposition in the council has submitted an amendment, to be decided on later in February, which asks the Council to reduce the amount by which it plans to increase its reserves. The Council could then continue funding children’s centres for the next four years, by which point there might be a new government.
Lambeth UNISON and community campaigning group Lambeth Save Our Services have distributed thousands of leaflets, held meetings with parents and workers, organised a wellattended demonstration in Brixton on 26 January and occupied Lambeth’s newly refurbished Town Hall with toddlers in tow.