Nearly a year ago I signed up to They Work For You‘s service which sends you an email every time your MP speaks in the House of Commons. It’s really quite useful if you want to keep an eye on what an MP is saying.
Yesterday, Laura Moffatt asked the following question in the ‘Business of the House’ debate:
The issue of children has rightly come up already in business questions. Would my right hon. and learned Friend consider a debate on the importance of play? The excellent children’s plan published earlier this month demonstrates that organised play for children is a key part of their development. I want this debate to put off local authorities that are short-sightedly thinking of closing play centres on financial grounds alone. I want the issues properly explored to stop them doing so.
Well, clearly the MP shares suspicions that the Crawley Tories are planning to close Play Centres in Crawley (Northgate and Southgate have been suggested as targets), and are hoping to save money by doing so.
The answer, from Harriet Harman, was more interesting than the question though:
No local authority should cut play services. The Government have put an extra £250 million into children’s play services and I know that my hon. Friend has been a great champion of children’s services in Crawley. If the Conservative council in Crawley is cutting children’s play services, it should not do so, and I suggest that my hon. Friend applies for an Adjournment debate.
So, if there’s more money available, why would Crawley Borough Council wish to reduce provision in the town? What is the idea?