Jenny Chapman MP


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Closure of Sure Start centres: North East is second biggest loser in England

Across England one third of Sure Start Centres have been closed as the Tories continue to slash the popular scheme introduced by the last Labour Government. 

Jenny believes the centres are important places within our communities, and it would be devastating to lose more of these vital services.  

The Tories famously pledged to be the “most family friendly Government we’ve ever had” before the 2010 election. As part of this claim they said they would protect Sure Start, the transformative early years programme introduced by Labour to give young children the best start in life. But new research, based on Freedom of Information requests to councils, reveals the Tories have broken their promise. It shows:

  • There are now over 1,240 fewer designated Sure Start children’s centres than when the Tories took office – a fall of around 34 per cent since 2010.


  • Over 230 have been lost in the last year alone.


  • The North East and London have seen the biggest fall in numbers, with over 40 per cent of Sure Start Centres lost.

In Darlington this means that of the seven Sure Start Children Centres in the borough, two have been closed. The centres are offer a vital support system for children and their families.

Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education said: 

The Tories are taking us backwards. It’s a scandal that parents and children are paying the price.



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