My greatest political passion is supporting families with young children.
Ensuring that babies and toddlers are loved, nurtured and stimulated is the most important thing that any of us can do. Ensuring that all families have a supportive framework to enable them to do this is the most important thing that Government can do.
There is now reams of research showing the transformative power of investing in the early years. Happy, healthy and safe babies grow into successful adults. Neglected and unloved babies grow into troubled adults. It’s commonsense. But that doesn’t seem to count for much in politics.
Sure Start was one of the landmark achievements of the last Labour Government: a brand new family support hub in every community.
Scandalously the Tory-led Government launched a heartless attack on Sure Start, brutally slashing funding and overseeing the closure of hundreds of Children’s Centres.
Long before I became a Councillor, I was a Governor at a local Sure Start Centre. The wonderful work of the Centre was so blindingly obvious, I couldn’t understand why the Government was cutting funding so brutally. It was doubly infuriating that these horrific cuts received nothing like the media attention to cuts of other services.
Sure Start works, we should be investing in it – not slashing it.
Campaigning for change is what politics is all about. So in 2013 I set up Labour Friends of Sure Start to celebrate the work of Children’s Centres and to campaign against cuts to them.
LFoSS has since gone from strength to strength: working with communities to protect their Centres, publishing pamphlets and shaping policy. But there is still so much to do so please visit www.laboursurestart.com and show your support.