Cuts Watch #331: Childcare in Camden
Camden Council faces a budget shortfall that could reach the almost unimaginable sum of £100 million over the next 3 years. The government has told local authorities to “do more with less”, but Camden has already planned all the efficiency savings they can come up with. These include merging services with next door authorities, extra charges for some services and reducing the frequency of others. But this only saves £30 million.
So cuts in front line services are in the pipeline, including £36million worth of services for the most deprived children. Play schemes, breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs and youth clubs will lose all their funding. Childcare provision for 3 and 4 year olds will be cut to the 15 hours a week statutory minimum.
In response, Save Camden Childcare has been set up by concerned parents and residents campaigning against the Council’s plans. This is a story that will soon be repeated around the country. Mr Cameron’s claim before the election that only “efficiency savings” would be needed and that there would be no cuts to front line services looks more and more hollow.