Today I have wrestled with what I feel is best for my conscience. At 10:30 there will be another demonstration by the Labour party against the closures of children’s centres. I have waited to see what the likelihood would be of these closures and it’s now looking pretty likely and so it’s time for me to do what I think is best. I cannot attend the demonstration as it’s far too political. It is a Labour demonstration, so though my absence makes me feel uncomfortable, I think it’s probably best for me to not be there. That being said I can publically announce that I support the cause to save Suffolk children’s centres. On Monday I sent the following to the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star and it appears to have been ignored so this is now I guess what they call an open letter. I hope this in some way assists the cause.
I am sending you this in response to your most recent article in the star about the possible closures of children’s centres. I am a Conservative Activist and as such feel it necessary to contact you to highlight that not all Conservatives are supporting these possible closures, in fact I strongly oppose them.
I attended a meeting with Gordon Jones back in I believe April when this consultation was in it’s infancy and stressed then the importance of children’s centres and since then have waited to see how this would pan out. Though I agree with Gordon’s opinion that “buildings don’t deliver services, it’s the people who do.” I am struggling to get my head around how these very people can deliver the services without a building for families to go to. When my son was born, I struggled with Post Natal Depression, not that I knew that at the time and forced myself to go to Meredith Children’s Centre. This Centre became my lifeline. I made friends there and got to know health visitors that offered my family vital support when it became apparent my son had Autism. It’s closure was a great loss to us as we attended a session there around 4 times a week. I was fortunate enough that I could drive and so could attend a different children’s centre, but not everyone is and despite this, it’s closure still had a huge impact on my family. Though I am no longer a user of these services, now that my children are at school I cannot sit by and stay quiet knowing that there will be many more families like mine who would need the services provided by children’s centres and will be denied these. I understand greatly the hard decisions Suffolk County Council have to make but I plead with them to find a way to not cut these any further. Children’s centres save lives and need to be kept open.