Lambeth Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, today (10th January) challenged a Tory minister on the impact of their cuts to children’s services in the borough.

On a visit to the Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre in Brixton, Cllr Brathwaite challenged the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom MP on why her government is continuing to push through huge cuts to early years services.

Cllr Brathwaite told the minister: “We need ministers to understand the financial impact of their policies. Children deserve the best start in life but under this government, funding cuts have meant 1,000 children’s centres across the country have had to be shut.

“Since 2010, Lambeth has had £230 million of government cuts, with £43 million more to find. And on top of that, government cuts and restrictions to the schools grant mean that we have £1.4 million less to spend on our children’s centres.

“These children’s centres provide vital early intervention services and they make such a difference, not only to that child’s life, but to the parents as well and that is going to be impacted by the effect of the cuts to local authorities.”

Andrea Leadsom MP was visiting the Liz Atkinson’s Centre in Brixton, funded by Lambeth council and the Lambeth Early Intervention Partnership as part of her work leading a government review on early years.

Commenting, Cllr Brathwaite said: “I’m glad that Andrea Leadsom saw the good work that is being done in Lambeth – but she must realise that the cuts she supports in Westminster are making this so much harder. I hope she’ll listen as part of her review and recognise that our children need investment in services, not more austerity from central government.”

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