Mums fear East End ‘early start’ learning centre may close

WORRIED parents lobbied a packed Town Hall meeting last night over fears that their children’s centre could close.

They had heard that Government spending cuts would mean the end of the Olga ‘Sure Start’ centre at Bow, in London’s deprived East End.

One young mum, Raquel Aguado, turned up to Tower Hamlets council meeting with a petition objecting.

“There’s nowhere else for us to go,” she told members. “The staff are also the only ‘family’ for many parents who don’t have relatives in this country.”

Another parent, Pierre Fabre, warned that even just losing staff would also lose the trust of the community.

“The centre is a safe environment where our children communicate with each other,” he explained. “It teaches them values when they go on later to school.”

But the authority was quick to kill ‘rumours’ of any closures and denied spending cuts would affect children’s services.

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A furious councillor Oliur Rahmnan, the children’s services cabinet member, told the meeting: “Some people are spreading malicious rumours—they must be confused with Westminster where child centres face closure.

“No Tower Hamlets centre is closing—we’re committed to keep them open.”

The authority runs a network of ‘Sure Start’ centres that give pre-school toddlers early reading skills to help them later in life to break the East End’s ‘poverty trap.’