Mothers angry about cuts to breastfeeding services will deliver petition to Devon County Council
A group of mothers who attend West Exe Children’s Centre have led a formidable campaign to save staff and services from cuts at the centre. They will present a petition of over 600 signatories to a full Devon County Council (DCC) meeting on Thursday 28th July, at 2.15pm. The petition calls for Devon County Council, who ultimately fund the city’s Children’s Centres, to halt the cuts in breastfeeding support and educational play sessions in West Exe.
Angela Grainger, St Thomas resident and a mother of an 18 month girl, said: “These services are invaluable to the community. Breastfeeding support is vital for the health and wellbeing of mother and child – to cut this service is such a short term measure”.
Jessica Crew, who will be presenting the petition to full Council, said: “The ‘Hey, Let’s Play’ sessions are more than a just playgroup; the health professionals who provide support and advice to new parents are a lifeline. Having recently returned to work part time, the cut of two to one sessions a week means I am unable to take my daughter in future.”
The centre will no longer provide the Baby Cafe, with its expert breastfeeding advice; ‘Hey, Lets Play’ sessions will be reduced from twice to once a week; and the Saturday sessions for fathers will reduce from twice to once a month.
Cllr Hannah Packham, St Thomas, who has been supporting the families, said: “The families and I completely understand that the centre has been placed in an impossible position after years of cuts. However, we are now seeing the impact of central government cuts to local authorities in our community. We want Devon County Council to speak out about this. We are very disappointed they have not engaged with our requests for a meeting”.
Families will gather outside the County Council Chamber at 13.45 on Thursday 28 July to protest at the cuts and let County Councillors see the strength of feeling.
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