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The News Line: News YOUNG PEOPLE BEING LEFT TO SUFFER YOUNG people are being left to suffer, with 34 per cent of the country’s children’s centres slashed since 2010, says the GMB.

‘Unwarranted’ closure of services up and down the country leaves a ‘ticking timebomb’ for nation’s youth according to the union. Figures obtained by the Labour Party under a Freedom of Information request reveal 1,240 centres have closed since the Tories came to power.

In 2010, there were 3,632 children’s centres – now there are just 2,390, with one further centre offering a reduced service. More than 230 have been lost in the past year alone. GMB described the drop as creating a ‘ticking timebomb’ for young people.

Sharon Wilde, GMB National Officer for schools, said: ‘These unwarranted closures are nothing short of a scandal – and our kids will end up paying the price. Children’s centres are vital for community cohesion and provide much-needed advice, help and activities for the next generation.
‘This relentless stripping away of our young people’s services is leaving our children to suffer.
‘It’s a self-defeating policy which will create a ticking time bomb for us all.’

• UCU members at Manchester Metropolitan University are to be balloted from today for industrial action at both the Manchester and Crewe campuses in a row over compulsory redundancies due to closure of the Crewe site.

The union says it has been forced to ballot members for strike action after the university has consistently frustrated efforts to try and resolve the dispute that centres on the future of over 160 academic staff based at the south Cheshire site.

UCU says that the university’s representatives have appeared to be willing to work towards compromises in meetings and then managers renege on promises just hours later. The union says the final straw came last month when the university rejected a proposal to postpone redundancies scheduled for this summer to allow both sides time to consider redeployment options and severance packages.

The university has almost £400m in reserves and UCU says it sees no rationale for refusing to pause on this summer’s job losses or ruling out compulsory redundancies. The university confirmed on 10 February that the Crewe campus will close in August 2019 after the current courses based there finish.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: ‘It’s a scandal that the university is prepared to throw years of academic talent and experience on the scrapheap without proper consideration of alternatives. We believe that there needs to be a pause on proposed job losses for this summer as we try and work through the issues.

‘We hope the university will now engage in meaningful negotiations with a desire to resolve the dispute without the need for any strike action.’


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