Protest over future of Manchester's Sure Start centres

Image caption,
Campaigners fear the city's Sure Start centres may close

Hundreds of families have demonstrated outside Manchester Town Hall, urging councillors to protect the city's Sure Start centres from budget cuts.

The city council is having to find £109m of savings in the next financial year.

The future of 36 children's centres remains uncertain, but the council is hoping to get other organisations to run them.

Campaigners fear they will be closed in the long run.

"Our concern is that it is either going to go out to private organisations who will make charges and big changes or that they will close altogether if no-one can be found," Claire Tomkinson, a Sure Start manager said.

But Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "We are committed to keeping them going until we find those other providers.

"I cannot foresee that any of these centres are going to close."

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