MP blasts broken election pledges

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Broken election promises are to blame for the possible closure of 13 Sure Start children’s centres across Rotherham, according to Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey.

Mr Healey said Conservatives had promised to keep and improve the network of centres shortly before the 2010 polls.

But since then Rotherham’s early years childcare budget had been cut by £2.2 million, down from £5 million.

Consultations have just begun on proposals to close 13 of the town’s 22 centres by 2016.

Mr Healey said three of those earmarked for closure were in his constituency, Cortonwood, Silver Birch and Wath Victoria.

He said: “This will be a huge blow for the families who have valued their local Sure Start centre as a hub of support and friendship, as well as a place their children are well cared for.

“David Cameron is directly to blame for these closures, and I have written to tell him what’s happening in Rotherham.”

But Conservative critics say the centres are wasting money because they fail to provide the wrap-around support for families that was intended and should be concentrated in poorer areas.