Parents against cuts to Sure Start in Newcastle

In Newcastle FRFI supporters have played a central role in building the Parents Against Cuts campaign to challenge council plans to cut Sure Start children’s services by 65%. Sure Start was set up by a Labour government as part of an attempt to shift the responsibility for problems caused by poverty onto the behaviour of parents. But regardless of Labour’s intentions, Sure Start has become a valued resource in many working class communities, offering a range of free activities that parents and other carers can take children along to. The proposed cuts come on top of other cuts in recent years to play and youth services, libraries, swimming pools and leisure centres. Following cuts to the play service last year, some centres are only being kept open through Sure Start, and these could now face closure or privatisation.

The campaign has included a ‘play in their way’ demonstration on 7 August, with ‘messy play’ and water activities for toddlers taking over the centre of Newcastle’s busiest shopping street, in protest at the council prioritising investments for businesses in the city centre over services in working-class communities. This was followed by a ‘messy march’ on 17 September, timed to coincide with a meeting as part of the council’s planned ‘consultation’, which many parents using Sure Start have not even been told about. On the morning of the march the council announced it had cancelled the consultation – apparently the council are only interested in ‘consulting’ as long as nobody actually comes forward with an opinion! The campaign will be supporting a protest organised by Unison outside a full meeting of the council on 1 October, and raising a challenge with the Ombudsman over the sham consultation.

No cuts to Sure Start! No cuts at all!

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Protest at Newcastle City Council against Sure Start cuts - a parent's report

Parents Against Cuts Sure Start Newcastle 01.10.14

Below we repost a report from Richie, a member of Parents Against Cuts, about a protest against cuts to Sure Start in Newcastle on 1 October 2014:

A pleasant evening (well timed for those with small children - Wednesday 6pm) at the council offices tonight. After Annie Rutter was generously allowed 100 words to comment on the cuts by the council, all parents with children who turned up to give support were held at the doors for twenty minutes on the grounds that children were absolutely not allowed in! To a meeting directly concerning children and parents of children.

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Parents march against cuts to SureStart in Newcastle: Council's sham consultation exposed

Parents Against Cuts and FRFI supporters on the steps of Newcastle Civic Centre

On Saturday 13 September parents, toddlers and their supporters took to the streets against 65% cuts to SureStart and other Family Services by Labour-led Newcastle City Council. The 'Messy March' was organised by Parents Against Cuts; a campaign which FRFI supporters -together with other parents - have been central to organising.

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North East Events

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North East Events coming up..

We have street actions and political educational meetings in Newcastle every week.

For more information on events in the North East you can also join the FRFI North East e-mail list and the mailing lists of campaigns we are involved in on the following pages:

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