After initial plans to close 46 out of 53 children’s’ centres in Norfolk, a public consultation has led to a potential reprieve for 8 children’s’ centres, according to this report by ITV.
Following the cutting of 5 million from children’s’ services, the proposals for the remaining 38 were voted through by councillors, meaning the large majority of Norfolk centres will close later in the year.
The centres provide support for children and parents aged 5 and under and thus a closure has been seen as highly controversial. Thousands of parents have been campaigning for them to stay open and this led to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn being prompted to visit one of the under threat centres in Angel Road in Norwich.
Councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton referred to the potential impact on local families as “devastating”. This was countered by the executive director of children’s services in Norfolk, Sara Tough, who was keen to stress that this was not a cost saving exercise, but rather a redesign aimed at maximising efficiencies to provide more positive outcomes for parents and children in the country who used the services.
The chairman of the council committee Stuart Dark suggested that the shortfall would be compensated for by alternative support the council would provide via people’s homes and in venues like village halls and community centres.
Readers who wish to read further can join the National Save our Children’s Centres Facebook group which has been set up by parents to allow people to have their say on similar potential closures resulting from council cuts across the country.
Further details regarding the potential countrywide closures can be found in this report by Sky.