Over a third of Conservative councillors unhappy with funding and direction of children's centre services

Posted by Media team / Monday 23 October 2017 / Press release
Baby-Reportage-05
  • Action for Children poll of 500 Conservative councillors reveals over a third (38 per cent) agree there is a ‘lack of clear direction and funding’ from central government for children’s centres, family hubs and family support.
  • More than half (53 per cent) believe that central government funding cuts have made it harder for their council to deliver legally-required responsibilities for children and young people.
  • Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) agree long-term funding for children’s services is a major concern for their council.
  • With one children’s centre closing every week and nearly 200,000 children already fallen behind by the age of five, Action for Children ‘deeply concerned’ struggling families are being ‘abandoned’.

 Over a third (38 per cent) of Conservative councillors polled believe there is a ‘lack of clear direction and funding’ from the Government for children’s centres, family hubs and family support, according to new survey released today (Monday 23 October) by Action for Children.

More than half (53 per cent) of the 508 Conservative council members questioned agreed that central government funding cuts have made it harder for their council to deliver legally-required responsibilities for children and young people. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) also agree long-term funding for children’s services is a major concern for their council.

Chief executive of Action for Children, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said: “Our findings show the growing fear that the Government is failing in its pledge to give all children the best start in life.

 

“Around a third of children in England – nearly 200,000 – fell behind by age five last year and with one children’s centre closing every week, we’re deeply concerned struggling families are being abandoned.
Tony Hawkhead, CEO of Action for Children

“Early years services are one of the key lifelines for families living in poor housing, in financial trouble, with mental health issues and those whose own childhood experiences affect their parenting. These lifeline services are being hollowed out, fragmented and cut, and children are bearing the brunt.

“The Government needs a bold vision that will give direction and provide local authorities with adequate funding to make sure all our children get the best start in life.”

One Conservative lead member who took part in the survey said the impact of further cuts would be “significant” and that “we have already scrapped some family support services in our local authority - this is the result of funding being reduced. Currently those that are the most vulnerable are a high priority. It’s important that we do more earlier on. Early intervention is key.”

ENDS

Media enquiries:  Huw Beale, Action for Children – 07718 114 038 / [email protected]

 

Notes to editors

  • Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK through fostering or adoption, by intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, by influencing policy, and by making life better for disabled children. With over 600 services the charity improves the lives of 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year. actionforchildren.org.uk
  • Survation, on behalf of Action for Children, interviewed 1,018 councillors in England via telephone between 19th September – 10th October 2017. This sample included 508 Conservative councillors. Data were weighted by region and political party. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.