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Sure Start Programme

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many Sure Start children's centres closed in each of the last five years; and how many such centres were the subject of requests to him for additional resources without which the centre would be closed in each year; (138091)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1538-9W, on children's centres, whether he would expect to be informed in all cases of closures of Sure Start children's centres; and of how many such closures he has been informed since 28th March 2007.

The Department has not received any reports of the closure of Sure Start children’s centres since the programme began in 2003. I would expect local authorities to alert us if any centre were to be threatened with closure. This would enable Together for Children (the consortium appointed to support the delivery of children’s centres) to broker a solution with local partners for the continuation of children’s centre services in the area concerned.