Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Cuts get closer to home

No-one wants to talk about cuts. Instead there are ‘efficiency savings’ or ‘prudence’ or ‘managing resources’. It all sounds so sensible. But being ‘efficient’ always seems to involve someone losing their job, and someone else losing a service they once relied upon.

For all the talk of ‘doing more for less’, the grim reality of budget cuts is now becoming clearer.

Last month the Birmingham Mail claimed there was a ‘secret’ plan to shut all 23 community day nurseries in the city. The council denied it, saying a review was in progress, and there were no firm proposals.

One month on, and The Stirrer  website reports that £1.45 million will be slashed from the nursery budget for 2010 with a total cut of £2.5 million by 2011.

Many of these nurseries are in the poorest areas of our city, and provide a vital service. Closure will disrupt the excellent work being done in these nurseries, and cause major problems for parents who will have to hunt for places in private nurseries.

It is easy to be confused by politicians spin when it comes to the economy and the national budget. But now the axe is starting to fall on our jobs and services we can begin to count the real cost. The work our nurseries do with our youngest children is an investment in the future of our society. They should not be fighting for survival.