Harriet Harman MP joins Labour’s campaign to Save Sure Start in the North East.

Harriet Harman

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman QC, MP visited North Tyneside on Friday to join Labour's campaign for the European and Mayoral elections.

Harriet Harman visited Battlehill SureStart Children’s Centre together with John Harrison, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of North Tyneside and Fay Tinnion, Labour’s candidate for North East in the European Elections.

During a tour of the Centre, Harriet met parents and children who have benefitted from Sure Start’s services and warned about Tory cuts to the programme which could see 33 Children’s Centres closing in the North East.

Ms Harman also joined Fay Tinnion to launch her Save Sure Start petition. The campaign asks people to support the work of their local Children's Centre by signing an online petition at www.savesurestart.org.uk

Labour's Deputy Leader Harriet Harman MP said;

“I’m really pleased to be at Battlehill Sure Start to see for myself the excellent work they are doing in supporting parents and their children. It’s been good to hear from parents how much they value the centre and the real help they offer with childcare, healthcare and other services for their children.

“Sure Start Children’s Centres make a massive difference to parents and under-fives up and down the country. We’ve recently marked the opening of the 3000th  Children Centre and we want to see a Sure Start in every community in the North East by 2010. All that would be put at risk by the Conservative Party’s proposed cuts, which would mean closing one in five Children’s Centres in North East . The reality would be that 33 would have to close their doors and stop providing this much needed service.”

Fay Tinnion,Labour's candidate for Europe said;

"“Children’s Centres play an important role in our local communities. It’s appalling that the Tories are planning budget cuts would mean that some would have to close. I’m asking them to come clean on which Centres would be shut under their proposals and which communities would lose out.”

Local Mum, Suzanne Reid, who uses the Battle Hill Sure Start Centre for her daughter, Lucy said;

“Having the Children’s Centre means I can go to work knowing my little girl is well looked after. We have to fight the Tory plans to close Sure Starts across the North East.