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Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care
Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow Socialist Party
Tory MP Elizabeth Truss has lamented the lack of quality, affordable childcare. She should know - her Con-Dem government have all but wiped out children's services in some parts of the country. And what's her solution? "Cut red tape" - the current Tory code for destroying workers' rights.
Instead of investing to expand much-needed services they want to increase the number of children one worker can take on.
In my London borough, Waltham Forest, where a Labour council is implementing the Tories' cuts, children and young people's services are being slashed.
From Aiming High for Disabled Children to community safety that prevents child deaths, social work to baby clinics, career services to the youth offending team, from community learning to children's centres - these are all being decimated. Who would want to grow up in Con-Dem Britain?
Recently the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was approached to help a young mum who is witnessing the dismantling of the Chingford Hall Children's Centre on her estate.
The Labour council is cutting frontline jobs at children's centres across the borough, despite previous assurances their jobs were safe. It's not just jobs but expertise such as nutrition and speech development that will be lost.
The mum bravely stood on a chair at a mother and toddler session and appealed to other mums to sign a petition and fight back against the loss of these treasured services in her area.
She collected 300 signatures by visiting other drop-in centres and leaving petitions at doctors' surgeries. Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union is helping her with an open air meeting in a local park to distribute yet more petitions and also mobilise for a borough-wide meeting on 7 June.
Chingford Hall is in the Tories' work and pensions minister (or should that be unemployment and slashing pensions minister?) Iain Duncan Smith's constituency. So has IDS supported the campaign and called for a reversal of the cuts? Of course not!
The Tories bleat on about quality childcare while cutting and closing services in working class communities to pay the bankers' debt. Labour councils dutifully rubber stamp these cuts.
The tide is turning against austerity, not only in Greece and France but also in Britain where parents will resist the future being snatched away from our children.
In The Socialist 23 May 2012:
Fighting the cuts
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