Hackney: Stop closure of Fernbank and Hillside children's centres
photo Chris Newby (Click to enlarge)
Chris Newby, Hackney Socialist Party
On 8 October, over 50 parents, children and members of public sector union Unison protested to demand that Fernbank and Hillside children's centres in Hackney, east London, be kept open. Hackney council is proposing to close them from August next year.
Staff only found out about the proposed closures after they had been announced in a local newspaper. 109 places for children will be cut - over half are from lower-income families.
The parents really value the work of the staff with their children, and have developed good links with the staff and their union. Parents and staff are determined to fight these cuts. Union membership has nearly doubled since the closure was announced.
More cuts coming
Parent Natalie Aguilera, spokesperson of the campaign, said: "If we allow these children's centres to be closed, I believe that more will follow, as Hackney Council continues to make cuts to vital services. Parents are... deeply anxious about the impact on their children, as well as the enormous difficulty of finding affordable childcare elsewhere.
"We call on Hackney Council to stop these closures, and we will continue to fight for the wonderful, long-serving staff, the young children attending this incredible children's centre, families being supported by the centre, and for more, not less, quality, affordable childcare in Hackney."
The Socialist Party fully supports the parents and workers in their fight to keep the centres open, and will do what we can to support the campaign. We say there should be no cuts to any of the council services.
Instead, Hackney Council should use its reserves immediately to stop any cuts, and then launch a campaign involving the unions, community organisations and residents to demand the government give Hackney the funding for the services that it needs.
Donate to the Socialist Party
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 13 October 2021:
We need a pay rise!
Fight for the pay rise we deserve
Workers need a pay rise
What we think
Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers
Pandora property speculators fuel housing crisis
Social care funding needed now
News in brief
Who runs Unison: lay members or the paid officials?
Place Unite at the head of the anti-Tory movement
Oaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies
National Education Union deputy general secretary election
College strikes continue into third week
60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike
DVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action
Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies
Youth Fight for Jobs
Hundreds march with Youth Fight for Jobs
Winter of Discontent
The 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more
Hackney: Stop closure of children's centres
Durning Hall: Hands off our community space
March to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks
Newcastle United takeover - no to billionaire Ashley or Saudi despots
Ridley Road: An engaging story of fighting fascism
The Socialist 13 October 2021 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook