Former Coronation Street actress, turned MP Tracy Brabin, now Labour’s Shadow Minister for Early Years visited Milton Keynes to highlight the excellent work Children’s centres do and why the Labour led Council is right to have ‘Pulled out all the stops’ to keep all 17 centres open.
Pictured (L to R) are: Charlynne Pullen (Labour Parliamentary candidate for MK North), MK Council leader Pete Marland, Shadow Minister Tracy Brabin MP and Cllr Zoe Nolan, MK Council Cabinet Member for Children and Families
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said, “Children’s centres are a local treasure. They offer a range of services for families with children from 0 to 5 years old, as well as for expectant parents. Three of these centres have been further developed as Family Centres offering a wider range of services for the whole family, including older children and grandparents.”
Tracy Brabin’s visit comes at a time when the national charity, “The Sutton Trust” has published a report (April 5) saying that over 1,000 Children’s centres have been closed across the Country in the last 8 years. Neighbouring Conservative run Councils have cut Children’s centres.
Cllr Nolan added “Milton Keynes Council has refused to close Children’s Centres, despite massive Government cuts in our funding. The Labour Council is committed to keeping all Children’s centres open and to maintaining a full network whilst providing services to families across Milton Keynes. We will continue to focus resources on early intervention and prevention, protecting spending on services that work to improve life chances for all children, while always putting the safety of vulnerable children first.”
Cllr Zoe Nolan continued, “I was proud to accompany Tracy Brabin, the Shadow Minister for Early Years around Rowan's Children’s Centre, a great example of our thriving Children's Centres. I know she was impressed about how we are working in Milton Keynes to make sure everyone has a great Children's Centre near them. Sadly she told us so many areas are closing children's centres, a real concern. Investing in early years makes sense for families so children can have the best start possible. It makes sense for taxpayers too, investing early on provides significant long lasting advantages for everyone".
Cllr Nolan concluded, “I am proud that Labour led Milton Keynes has protected our Children’s centres, I am fearful that a Conservative Council would copy its friends in Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, Essex and Surrey and close centres. Under Labour Milton Keynes Council will continue to value and protect Children’s Centres.”
The Sutton Trust report can be found at: