Medway Conservatives reaffirm commitment to Sure Start despite budget pressure

Medway Council’s Conservative administration reaffirmed its manifesto pledge of remaining committed to having 19 Sure Start centres in Medway at the cabinet meeting held this Tuesday (27 November).

Nationally central government is reducing the Early Intervention Grant given to councils by £150 million leaving Medway with around a £2 million funding gap. The Early Intervention Grant is used to support early years and family intervention programmes as well as Sure Start centres.

Commenting on the funding gap, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Cllr Jarrett said: “To see another of our government grants top sliced is extremely disappointing as it places further pressure on our already stretched budget.

“This administration is not about to start cutting important front line services, such as Sure Start centres, which is why I’ll be working with officers and cabinet colleagues to find a way forward and maintain these facilities. We are committed to maintaining our 19 Sure Start centres”

Adding to Cllr Jarrett’s comments, Cllr Wicks, who has responsibility for Sure Start as Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said: “Medway’s nineteen Sure Start centres play an important role in supporting young families’ early development and I am pleased to hear these centres will be maintained.

“We have an excellent record on service delivery and despite the budget pressures faced, Medway Conservatives continue to remain committed to Sure Start.”

ENDS

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