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Mole Valley Children Centres - an Open Letter

February 1, 2019 2:23 PM

For the Attention of

Councillor Townsend (Independent, Ashtead)
Councillor Curran (Conservative Bookham and Fetcham West)
Councillor Clack (Conservative Dorking Rural)
Councillor Hall (Conservative Leatherhead and Fetcham East)

Dear Councillors,

At the Surrey County Council Cabinet meeting on 29th January a decision was made to recommend closure of the Leatherhead Children's Centre and cut funding to the Dorking Children's Centre by 58%, two of the few "shining stars" in the Surrey Children's Services organisation.

Surrey Children's Services were rated as "inadequate" by Ofsted less than a year ago and a new Director has since been recruited to correct this appalling indictment.

These draconian and damaging cuts are being presented to the public by Surrey CC as a strategy to improve the service, while in reality are simply cuts to save costs.

However good the track record and qualifications of the new Director of Children's Services, it is not possible to make a plan to safely care for the most vulnerable children in our community in such a short period in post.

It is an accepted fact that the early intervention in the lives of children in vulnerable situations provided by Children's Centres, pays long term dividends and saves future costs in schools, probation services, police services and other public services to say nothing of the benefits to those children and their families.

The Surrey County Council Cabinet will bring this proposal to a full Council Meeting on Tuesday 5th February and I challenge you to join our Liberal Democrat Councillors and vote against these cuts.

Bob Vance
Chair Mole Valley Liberal Democrats