To: Newcastle City Council
Save Newcastle Sure Start
We the undersigned believe that Sure Start is an invaluable service improving outcomes for young children and their families. Reducing inequalities between families in greatest need and their peers in child development, school readiness, parenting aspirations, parenting skills, child and family health and life chances.
We are deeply concerned about any proposals which would make significant reductions in provision across the City.
Why is this important?
Sure Start Children's Centre services in Newcastle are facing a two thirds cut in funding over the next three years. This will mean closure of services, buildings, parents groups, activity for young children across the city. It will mean at least 100 jobs will be lost across the council and the voluntary sector. It will mean the opportunities for children and parents will continue to be worsened, following significant cuts already 2010, and the axing of the councils play and youth services last year. SSCCs in Newcastle are all rated Good and Outstanding by Ofsted, reach the vast majority of children under 5 and their families offering universal as well as targeted services.
The council proposals:
For the three year budget cycle (2013 – 2016) - the cuts proposed equate to over £5 milllion (or approx. 65% of the total budget) The first £1 million savings have already been agreed, with a proposal for a further £1 million this year and then £3 million for the year 2015-16.
Overall the cuts since 2011 will equate to over 70% with the budget being reduced to less than £3 million from approximately £10 million in 2010-11.
The review of Sure Start and Early Years Services has now been incorporated with the Family Services Review which is being asked to cut £670,000 over the next two years out of budget of £2.3 million which is a 34% cut in services to the most vulnerable families, children and young people.
50% of these services are delivered by the council and 50% by the Community and Voluntary Sector. The city council have estimated that for the work they directly deliver this would equate to the lost of 63 full time equivalent posts (i.e. this will actually be more than 63 people losing their jobs as many jobs are part-time or may be job share) we can only estimate that the equivalent level of job cuts would be made by the Community and Voluntary sector meaning the job cuts proposed would be at least 126 full time posts (probably between 130 and 180 people losing their jobs)
The review has not identified which Sure Start Children’s Centres, Services, Buildings or staff will face cuts.
The councils review timetable includes:
· April 2014 onwards: Options appraisal (looking with partners at what the cuts could like and coming up with proposals)
· July 2014: Consultation on the proposed cuts and closures
· August 2014: Partners agree which options are to be implemented
· September 2014: Implementation of the cuts for both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
· March 2015: All cuts implemented.
The councils proposals for 2014 – 2016:
Previous year budgets:
Unison’s campaign page:
Motion passed at Unison Newcastle City AGM:
How it will be delivered
We will use the petitions at a lobby of the full council on Wed 1st Oct from 4pm onwards. Please attend and share widely.
There will be an opportunity to talk to all councillors and we need workers and parents who are willing to speak to get in touch.
Contact Ed or Lynda via the unison office on 01912116980