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16 May 2012
The Sure Start initiative is meant to give children the best possible start in life so it is a disgrace that Tories in a well off area like Windsor and Maidenhead should target the little kids with their cuts says GMB
GMB, the union for public sector workers, is calling for a broad based campaign to oppose proposals announced by Windsor and Maidenhead Council to cut the Sure Start budget by 43% and cut staffing levels from 28 to 16.
The Council have tried to mislead the public by suggesting these cuts are restricted to management and administrative overheads while the reality is that front facing staff will have their jobs axed and the level of service to kids aged four and under will be cut. The Council is seeking to get more volunteers to help run the Sure Start Centres.
Frank Minal, GMB Organiser, said “These proposals are shocking. The Sure Start initiative is meant to give children the best possible start in life. It offers a range of services focusing on family health, early years care and education and improved wellbeing programmes to children aged four and under. Cutting back will impact on families who need practical support from the well trained staff in the Sure Start centres.
The council's answer to slashing staff is to seek yet more volunteers in the Children Centres. The question that must be raised is why target those families in the community needing critical services and what protective measures will be in place to protect vulnerable children when the service is removed.
Normally decisions like these are delegated to the departmental lead officer. However Tory Councillors in Windsor and Maidenhead seem hell bent on making their decision in isolation without prior consultation through staff side representatives.
GMB and staff will resist these mad cap proposals and are considering protests in the locality. It is a disgrace that Tories in a well off area like Windsor and Maidenhead should target the little kids with their cuts. GMB is calling for a broad based campaign to oppose these proposals.”