Cllr Wayne Hoban, Lib Dem spokesperson for Social Services, is delighted by the news that Haringey Council is not after all to close the Red Gables family centre in Crouch End. The news follows a year-long campaign by local residents, local Lib Dem councillors, and Lynne Featherstone MP, which has resulted in a Labour Council u-turn on their ill-thought out plans to close the Centre.
Last week, Haringey Council held a press conference to say that the council had ‘found the necessary funds’ to keep Red Gables open and running as a family centre.However, they would not confirm that the decision to keep the centre open would be permanent, saying that nothing could be guaranteed indefinitely.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The decision to close Red Gables was a poor one. Red Gables provides a fantastic service to children and parents from all over Haringey. This has been a victory for people power and common-sense.”
Cllr Wayne Hoban comments:
“The decision to close the centre and deliver the service through 18 Children’s Centres, most of which are due to be located in the east of the borough, was obviously ill-conceived and poorly planned.Red Gables provides a unique and invaluable service to children and parents from all parts of the borough. To replace it with untried and untested Children’s Centres was nothing more than a politically driven decision, putting political dogma at the heart of decision making, rather than the needs of service users.
“You cannot close down such a service until or unless it can be proved that it will be replaced by a better service elsewhere, equally accessible to service users. The Labour-led Council clearly failed this key test. It is a victory for democracy and common-sense.”