GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage spoke up in Prime Minister’s Questions to support Hampshire County Council’s proposals to merge Sure Start centres.
Making a dig at Chris Huhne MP who has openly criticised planned closures of centres, she said: ‘Despite recent vocal party political mischief-making over the future of Sure Start, would the Prime Minister welcome Hampshire’s proposals to protect all front line services while saving public money by cutting back office costs?’
The county’s proposals to cut the number of centres from 81 to 53 by merging existing sites, and to tender out large clusters of centres to a single provider, have come up against major opposition from parents county-wide.
Ms Dinenage said parents had however been ‘misled’. She explained: ‘Some parents have been aggravated by unhelpful comments made by certain politicians.
‘The intention is not there to blatantly shut down centres where they are valuable.
‘Hampshire has pledged to protect all frontline services. I will be keeping up the pressure on them, every step of the way, to make sure that they do.’