Conservative-run Swindon Council is proposing to close all of Swindon’s remaining Children’s Centres, having already reduced them in number from 12 to 5 since 2012.
Children’s Centres support parents and help to provide our children with a secure future, providing services such as child and family health services; antenatal and postnatal care; breastfeeding support for parents; speech and language therapy for young children; and assistance for families with a child who has a disability. Swindon Council is believed to be the first local Council to intend to close all of its Children’s Centres.
Research has shown that Children’s Centres and early education for children gives young people the best start in life. Even the Prime Minister has acknowledged the benefits they provide and his own mother has signed a petition against their closure in Oxfordshire. Our council must take their lead.
Furthermore, the Council is now seeking to rid itself of responsibility of all libraries except Swindon Central Library. West Swindon’s library is planned to be hived to a volunteer group. Whilst volunteers are a necessary and valued part of society, it takes a highly qualified team to run a library successfully. This plan could well lead down a road of West Swindon having little to no library provision at all. Children and adults in West Swindon alike have the right to read – I will fight for that right.