PARENTS and carers are being urged to have their say during the final few days of a consultation on Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) plans to redesign its services for children and families.
Warwickshire’s 39 children’s centres are facing cuts of £1.1million to help make up for a £67million drop in WCC’s government funding.
WCC proposes to turn at least 12 centres into ‘family hubs’ – with the rest to be either used as outreach sites, or no longer funded by the council.
The council’s children’s services spokesman Coun Jeff Morgan said: “The consultation asks people to tell us what they value most. We believe a more flexible model will do more for more people and meet their evolving needs.
“Buildings are expensive to maintain and we know the way people access services is changing, so our proposals look at managing a financial saving while modernising our approach to helping all families in Warwickshire.
“We know there are a large number of families we need to reach who don’t currently use children’s centres so we are particularly keen to hear from them. Similarly, we wish to engage with families and groups where English is not their first language.
“We want the response to consultation to be as representative as possible of Warwickshire communities to guide our decision making later this year.”
The council says its proposed family hubs will provide a wider range of services than currently available, while remaining centres will be ‘subject to reassessment, including alternative options and potential closure’.
In Stratford district, Alcester children’s centre would be converted into a hub, while centres in Badger Valley, Clopton, Lighthorne Heath, Southam, Stratford, Studley and Wellesbourne could be closed.
WCC also wants to hear from other organisations and community groups about how services for under-5s could be delivered.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/familyhubsconsultation for more details on the proposals and to take part in the consultation, which closes on Monday (September 11).
Call 01926 742350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a paper copy or make an appointment with an officer.