Union joins parent fight

Parents and children protest from Wilton and Carlinghow Sure Start protest about possible cuts to the srervice.
Parents and children protest from Wilton and Carlinghow Sure Start protest about possible cuts to the srervice.

UNISON has joined forces with children’s centre users in a bid to save 17 centres from council cuts.

The trade union has spoken out against Kirklees Council’s decision to cut services in certain centres, saying the ongoing consultation is a “sham”.

Two public meetings have been organised by Kirklees Unison in Batley and Huddersfield to help gather support for its Save Our Services campaign.

In a statement, the union said the plans were “a recipe for cuts in service” and would undervalue the ethos of the centres.

In October, the cabinet put forward a model which categorises centres across the area into two types – lead and associate centres.

Lead centres will deliver services as normal and will also be responsible for the management of associate centres.

Centres placed in the associate category would see some services cut, forcing families to travel further to their nearest lead centre. Councillors say the lead centres will be chosen to target families in greatest need.

The consultation period for the proposed model has entered its final month, with views being heard until January 20.

On Wednesday, members of the public will be able to meet the Unison campaign organisers at the trade union’s Huddersfield offices at 1.30pm.

Then on January 24, there will be a public meeting at Batley town hall at 1pm, with a second meeting at Brian Jackson House in New North Parade, Huddersfield, at 1pm on January 26.

Unison said: “We have written to all Kirklees councillors asking them whether they are prepared to support the campaign and speak out publicly to preserve this valued service.”