Trade unionists in Sheffield called on the government today to halt vicious cuts which could see up to 20 vital children's centres shut down.
The GMB union warned that the cuts will put vulnerable youngsters at risk as the centres work with a large number of families and play an important role in safe-guarding children.
The cuts to Sheffield's early years centres were given the go-ahead by the council's cabinet at a meeting in December where the GMB raised its concerns. An officers' report listed "advantages" to the cuts which the GMB said were now being "sold" to the people of Sheffield.
A GMB spokesman said: "The cabinet report does not seem to be capable of uttering the words 'cut', 'close' or 'sack'. Instead the phrase 'The proposed cessation of grants to 16 childcare providers in the private, voluntary and independent sector and four in the statutory sector' is used.
"These may be different words but they have the same meaning - funding will end and the centres will more than likely close as a result."
The union wants a deadline for the proposed cuts extended from March to November for consultations with unions, staff and families who depend on the services.
GMB organiser Peter Davies said: "The report to the council from the children and young people scrutiny and policy development committee is hiding the reality that these are cuts which will damage vulnerable children and young people and mean job losses.
"GMB will oppose these cuts through every means at our disposal."
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