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Liberal Democrat councillors lead fight against devastating closure of Leatherhead Children’s Centre

November 9, 2018 4:46 PM

Lhead Childrens centre

Cllrs Joe Crome, Elizabeth Daly, Emma Norman & Paul Kennedy outside the Children's Centre

Local residents have reacted with dismay and outrage to the devastating news that Leatherhead's vital Children's Centre is set to close, as part of Conservative proposals to close 31 Children's Centres across Surrey. The move would leave families in Leatherhead, Ashtead, Fetcham and Bookham dependent on services provided by Mole Valley's only other Children's Centre in South Dorking.

Liberal Democrat councillors are leading the fight against these cuts both in Mole Valley and across Surrey, and are urging everyone to respond to Surrey County Council's consultation, and sign the Leatherhead Living petition to retain a Children's Centre in Leatherhead.

Leatherhead North Councillor Emma Norman said: "This is a devastating blow for local families. North Leatherhead is an area of high deprivation and the existing Leatherhead Trinity Children's Centre is a lifeline for families with young children. It is very disappointing that Surrey County Council has not done more to investigate how they could retain the Children's Centre here and make it economically viable. Local families cannot be expected to access services from up to an hour away by public transport in South Dorking. North Leatherhead in particular has seen an expansion in the number of new homes being built and it is vital that community services and infrastructure are retained here to serve our growing community."

Bookham South Councillor Elizabeth Daly, who is a former Children's Centre worker, said: "I know from experience how children's centres support families at the most vulnerable stage of children's lives. Our children's centres are a rare success story for Surrey. Let's keep them accessible and working to prevent more problems occurring, not close them."

Fetcham West Councillor Paul Kennedy, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Mole Valley, said: "It is madness for Surrey County Council to react to an inadequate rating for its Children's Services with further devastating cuts when there are still efficiencies that could be made elsewhere in their administration. At a time when the Government is proclaiming the end of austerity, Mole Valley's MPs should be standing up for local residents instead of backing the Government's wholly inadequate local government settlement which is driving these cuts."

Link to the petition

Go to Surrey's consultation