Sarah Champion MP Urges RMBC Cabinet to Reject Proposals to Deregister Rotherham Sure Start Children’s Centres

Sarah Champion MP has written to members of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Cabinet ahead of a vote on proposals that would see three Rotherham Sure Start Children’s Centres deregistered, including two in Sarah’s constituency. Cabinet will vote on the proposals on Monday 22nd October.

Sarah previously submitted a response to the public consultation on the proposals and has raised concerns that deregistration will lead to a loss of crucial support for some of Rotherham’s most deprived families.

Commenting on the proposals, Sarah said:

“There is clear evidence that shows that children from lower income families start school with skills five months behind their more affluent peers. The strong correlation between attainment when starting school and attainment throughout a child’s education show just how crucial early help can be in allowing all children to reach their full potential.’

‘It is precisely this kind of support that Sure Start Centres were established to provide and it is really disappointing that the Council plans to push ahead with more deregistrations.”

Commenting on the challenges facing the Council, Sarah said:

“I am hugely sympathetic to the difficult choices the Council faces as a result of the disastrous budget cuts imposed on it by central government. But reducing early help risks damaging the Council’s ability to support families with problems before they escalate. I am afraid that the end result may very well be that more families will become involved with expensive statutory services and that spending cuts will ultimately be self-defeating.’

‘I hope that Cabinet Members will vote against these measures and ensure that all Rotherham families are able to access the fantastic support Sure Start Centres provide.”

Sarah’s letter is available here.

Alexander Guest