Labour campaigner says keeping Formby's children's centre is vit

Catie Page and Bill Esterson with Freshfields Children's Centre staff


A Formby Labour campaigner is appealing to councillors of all parties to save Freshfield Children's Centre because she said the advantages the service provide children and their parents far outweigh the cost of keeping them open.

The future of Freshfield Children's Centre is currently under review because of Conservative-Liberal Democrat cuts.

Both the Tories and Lib Dems promised in advance of last year's general election that Children's Centres would be safeguarded and even more funding would be provided.

But once in power, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government slashed the funding which is used by local authorities like Sefton to run the service.

School teacher and Labour candidate for Ravenmeols at May's local elections, Catie Page, said children's centres like Freshfields makes massive improvements in the lives of children and their parents.

Catie said: "There are hundreds of families who have benefited in Formby from Freshfields Children's Centre. The centre provides lots of activities for children which helps them gain new skills before they go onto school and it provides activities for parents and carers.

"In my work as a school teacher, I have seen huge improvements in the skills of children who have attended a children's centre. You really can tell if a child has attended a children's centre. In some cases, it can elevate a child's academic age by as much as two years. That is a fantastic foundation upon which to build and gives youngsters a major advantage right at the start of their academic life."

Catie said closing children's centres was an attack on families right here in Formby.

Catie added: "I've got friends who have benefited from using Freshfields Children's Centre and they have nothing but praise for the work the centre does.

"Having visited the centre with our MP Bill Esterson I've seen first hand the fabulous work they do.

"It is outrageous that the centre is under any kind of threat. There is currently a review which will decide the fate of Freshfields children's Centre. In the meantime those families who rely on the centre's services and the children who benefit from it, as well as the staff are awaiting the Tories' and Liberal Democrats' decision. When you bare in mind they all promised during the general election campaign that children's centres would be safe, then even holding a review of the centres is a betrayal.

"I'm am currently compiling comments from people who contact me who are calling for the centre to be saved. The campaign is underway to save Freshfields Children's Centre and I appeal to everyone in Formby to make sure their voices are heard.

"If we don't stand up now and demand that our centre is saved, then the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will simply shut it down."

Add your voice to the campaign. Email or write to 29 Liverpool Road North, L31 2HB.

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