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Cambridge MP slams "Sham Consultation" on Children's Centres

Daniel Zeichner, Labour's Member of Parliament for Cambridge, has heavily criticised the County Council, calling their recent consultation on Children's Centres a "sham" after if emerged that they will maintain their proposal to close 4 children's centres in Cambridge, despite responses indicating that parents do not support the 're-designation of services in the city.

Daniel says "I am dismayed that the County Council has not made any alterations to their initial proposals in terms of the number of children's centres they are planning to close in the city, especially after the responses indicated that parents are not happy with their offer. What is the point in having a consultation if they are not going to take on board what is said. It is quite frankly a sham!"

Details of the 2,280 responses received during the 10 week-long consultation on Children's Centres were revealed yesterday on the County Council's website. This release comes ahead of the Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17th October where the proposals will face a full vote on whether to close 19 centres across the county in a bid to save £900,000 across Cambridgeshire.

The summary report illustrates a lack of support for the changes to Cambridge city. 1,356 responded with 60.2% opposing the proposals and a further 18% unsure. Furthermore it was highlighted that respondents wanted to maintain services at Romsey Mill, Howerton, Fawcett and Cherry Hinton. However, the County has not made any concessions on keeping any of these sites. 

Daniel says, "I have visited all the children's centres in the City and it is very clear that the fantastic support these services provide is invaluable to the local community, vulnerable or not. Inevitably these short-term cuts will undo all the excellent work that is currently being done in the City, with inevitable long-term higher costs. 

Once again, I ask the Conservative County Council to think again about what will happen once these services are gone and I urge them to thing again about the cutting of vital services across Cambridge and our county."

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