Suffolk County Council seems to be proposing to close our Caterpillar Children’s Centre, without option.
At least, there will be a consultation in September. But county Cabinet papers for our centre have approved 3 options for consultation – and each is the same: ‘Closure’.
Remarkably, the first time I heard of this – despite the Caterpillar being a County Council-run operation, and I being the County Councillor for Woodbridge – was when I read it in the East Anglian Daily Times. How disrespectful to Woodbridge and its residents.
I asked the relevant Suffolk county Cabinet Member – face to face – why this was the case, but have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.
Maybe he is unaware that the Caterpillar Centre is a much valued resource for Woodbridge and district young families . It provides a safe space where parents can talk through their concerns with other parents and a range of professionals while their young children (0-5 years) can participate in a wide range of activities. As the County Council’s leaflet (you can find it here) points out, as well as many other programmes a great deal of important work is done with young children with special educational needs and disabilities.
This early intervention saves money AND unhappiness later on, and supports future social cohesion with benefits for everyone.
Ashley Meyer, Woodbridge resident, and a long-term nursery school governor says, “County Councillor Gordon Jones states that some of this work can be done by parents making contact with professionals through Facebook. I believe this thinking shows a misunderstanding of how Children’s Centres work. It is the ability to attend the Children’s Centres over a prolonged period of time and to meet other parents and professionals face- to- face that is so valuable for parents who are isolated and vulnerable. This proposed closure is therefore an attack on the future of our community!”
Ashley Meyer is URGENTLY organizing a non party-political campaign to fight closure. I am strongly supporting this as County Councillor.
Please contact Ashley asap on
Please note there will be a March against Children’s Centres closures and cuts across Suffolk Coastal on Saturday 14th September, 2019, starting Elmhurst Park, 11am