Keep Leicestershire's Children's Centres open!
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Leicestershire County Council’s (LCC) Early Help Review initially proposed sweeping cuts to Early Help in order to make £3.8 million in savings. Four services: Supporting Leicestershire Families (SLF), Youth Offending Service (YOS), Information, Support and Assessment and Children’s Centres (previously known as Surestart centres) were to be merged into a family wellbeing service and 24 out of 36 Children’s Centres marked for closure in a move regarded by campaigners as extremely shortsighted and damaging.
The consultation process included a questionnaire, which had nearly 800 responses, the majority of which were from Children’s Centres users. Various petitions, which together collected more than 5000 signatories, were also submitted. Now the Council says they have listened and have begun outlining new proposals. Yet despite reducing the cuts by more than half they only plan to keep an additional five centres open and still plan to close half of all centres.
LCC have agreed with us that the centres provide valuable, high quality front line services. They have even said that given the funding they would keep all the centres open, so why are they not following through on this?
We commend the council for this 'first step' but believe there is much more that can and should be done to keep these centres open.
No ifs, no buts, NO CHILDREN"S CENTRE CUTS!
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