Mums lay into plans for shutting centres

This Is Wiltshire: Wendy Smart with Abigail, Anne Selgrove, Lucy Thacker with Bethany and Hayley Jackson with Rufus Wendy Smart with Abigail, Anne Selgrove, Lucy Thacker with Bethany and Hayley Jackson with Rufus

MUMS who use Swindon’s threatened children’s centres have spoken about their fears for the future.

Today sees the launch of a two month public consultation into the future of the children’s centres.

Earlier this month it was revealed the council is considering closing seven centres in a bid to save almost £800,000.

A consultation aimed at those affected has been started to seek views on the closures, as well as seek opinions on plans to convert two of the sites into multi-generational centres at West Swindon and Abbey Meads.

The buildings at Robert Le Kyng and Highworth will be left empty so the council is looking for suggestions as to their future use.

However, mums have spoken out against the plans which they say will leave parents without support and risk storing up problems for the future.

Wendy Smart, 38, of Oakhurst, currently uses the Butterflies Children’s centre in Abbey Meads for her two daughters Abigail, two, and eight-week-old Clara.

She said: “The centre has been extremely helpful. In the past I have suffered from post natal depression and the centre was such an important source of support.

“I know a lot of other people who use it and would say the same thing. They are not just play groups where you can take your kids for an hour but somewhere that helps.

“There are trained professionals who work there who can spot a problem. This is a very short-sighted idea that will mean big issues are not spotted and pressure will be put on existing resources.”

Five of the children’s centres will not have their budget touched as they deal with the highest number of vulnerable children.

Lucy Thacker, 33, who lives in Swindon town centre, used Drove Road and Saltway children’s centres for her daughter Bethany, one, before she returned to work .

“I take issue with their definition of the word vulnerable,” she said.

“Swindon has a lot of people who moved here from outside the town for work and while they may have the pay check, they won’t have the support. For me, if there is not that support network, then the child is vulnerable.”

“My mum lives in Norwich so the children’s centres have been extremely useful for getting to know people, some of whom I still meet up with.”

Hayley Jackson, 33, of Old Town, used to attend the Croft centre before the building was closed last year.

She said: “I have asked where the new baby-weighing classes will go but have been told they won’t know until after the consultation.

“It seems they are making it up as they go along. The demand for those staying open will be huge and I think this, along with the difficulty of getting there, will put a lot of mums off.”

Politicians of all sides have urged people to take part in the consultation process.

Labour’s South Swindon parliamentary candidate Anne Snelgrove said: “It is very important that as many people as possible respond to the survey. It does not just have to be parents but grandparents and anyone else who relies on these services.

“I have heard already that there is a huge anxiety about the whole idea and what will be left if the centres close so we need them to send a message to the council.”

Councillor Fionuala Foley (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn), the cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I would encourage people to come forward and contact us to give us their ideas. We want them to be imaginative and if they have time perhaps volunteer at the community centres.

“We have austerity and Swindon is not the only place doing this. Rather than close everything we are protecting the vulnerable.”

To take part in the consultation visit www.swindon.gov.uk.

Comments (17)

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12:06pm Tue 29 Jul 14

themoonraker says...

I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice.
I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen.
I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country?
A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation?
I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they?
I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice. I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen. I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country? A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation? I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they? themoonraker
  • Score: 6

1:06pm Tue 29 Jul 14

tucker81 says...

If they couldn't afford them they shouldn't have had kids
If they couldn't afford them they shouldn't have had kids tucker81
  • Score: 1

1:46pm Tue 29 Jul 14

trolley dolley says...

themoonraker wrote:
I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice.
I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen.
I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country?
A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation?
I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they?
These so called Childrens Centres are in fact Mother Centres.

If mothers want them to stay open, then volunteer to work in them and keep the costs down.

Start by getting rid of any employees that cannot be afforded, they are the main cause of the £800,000 costs.

Most of the services that have been quoted could be done by the mothers with a little on site training.

Or is it just easier to ask for money and complain when it is not available.
[quote][p][bold]themoonraker[/bold] wrote: I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice. I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen. I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country? A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation? I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they?[/p][/quote]These so called Childrens Centres are in fact Mother Centres. If mothers want them to stay open, then volunteer to work in them and keep the costs down. Start by getting rid of any employees that cannot be afforded, they are the main cause of the £800,000 costs. Most of the services that have been quoted could be done by the mothers with a little on site training. Or is it just easier to ask for money and complain when it is not available. trolley dolley
  • Score: 3

2:52pm Tue 29 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

tucker81 wrote:
If they couldn't afford them they shouldn't have had kids
Many a true word spoken in jest!
[quote][p][bold]tucker81[/bold] wrote: If they couldn't afford them they shouldn't have had kids[/p][/quote]Many a true word spoken in jest! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Tue 29 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

themoonraker wrote:
I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice.
I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen.
I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country?
A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation?
I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they?
Sadly in today's world it seems to be the motto of why pay for something yourself when you can get someone else to pay it for you. And even why work when you can get someone else to pay for your life. As has been reported many times more than half of the adult population are net takers from the state than contributors so clearly the majority don't share your sense of responsibility.

Stop helping those who don't really need it or can't be bothered to take responsibility for their own lives and you would solve the problems of the welfare state, social housing and the Nhs in no time! Yes of course that's a simplistic view but true none the less
[quote][p][bold]themoonraker[/bold] wrote: I am sure the Mums wil miss these centres if they close, but if they are not affordable what is the choice. I suspect that the Snelgrove woman is winding these poor mums up about it being disgraceful and not something that a labour council would allow to happen. I do not wish to get into a political debate over this but I suspect that the labour party answer to this would to be borrow money to keep these centres open, haven't we been down that road before under a labour government who borrowed so much that they nearly bankrupt the whole country? A novel suggestion for Mrs Snelgrove to make may be that the mothers help fund these centres to keep them open?,,,,,how about it Anne or do you advocate returning to the system where people pay nothing and expect everything to suit their situation? I am sure the mothers would rather do this than expect the whole of the town to foot the bill.......wouldn't they?[/p][/quote]Sadly in today's world it seems to be the motto of why pay for something yourself when you can get someone else to pay it for you. And even why work when you can get someone else to pay for your life. As has been reported many times more than half of the adult population are net takers from the state than contributors so clearly the majority don't share your sense of responsibility. Stop helping those who don't really need it or can't be bothered to take responsibility for their own lives and you would solve the problems of the welfare state, social housing and the Nhs in no time! Yes of course that's a simplistic view but true none the less house on the hill
  • Score: 1

3:23pm Tue 29 Jul 14

swindondad says...

If " the Snelgrove woman" as "themoonraker" calls her actually cared about the service then she would provide her costed plan for saving it, until she does so she is just trying to stir up trouble / score points.
If " the Snelgrove woman" as "themoonraker" calls her actually cared about the service then she would provide her costed plan for saving it, until she does so she is just trying to stir up trouble / score points. swindondad
  • Score: 1

3:43pm Tue 29 Jul 14

themoonraker says...

swindondad wrote:
If " the Snelgrove woman" as "themoonraker" calls her actually cared about the service then she would provide her costed plan for saving it, until she does so she is just trying to stir up trouble / score points.
do you you think for one moment that ''bannedwagon'' Snelgrove actually has a plan or cares one jot about this service?
Her lack of a proposal should come as no surprise as all this woman really cares about is freeloading and getting her picture in the paper.
Also imo Mike Benke who wrote this article has most definately done the people of Swindon a dis-service by not asking her for her proposals.
When are the ''journalists'' that write for this paper ever going to start being professional and write a proper article, we don't expect Jeremy Paxman style questioning from them, but it would be good to see some articles that have moved past the stage of Janet and John !
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: If " the Snelgrove woman" as "themoonraker" calls her actually cared about the service then she would provide her costed plan for saving it, until she does so she is just trying to stir up trouble / score points.[/p][/quote]do you you think for one moment that ''bannedwagon'' Snelgrove actually has a plan or cares one jot about this service? Her lack of a proposal should come as no surprise as all this woman really cares about is freeloading and getting her picture in the paper. Also imo Mike Benke who wrote this article has most definately done the people of Swindon a dis-service by not asking her for her proposals. When are the ''journalists'' that write for this paper ever going to start being professional and write a proper article, we don't expect Jeremy Paxman style questioning from them, but it would be good to see some articles that have moved past the stage of Janet and John ! themoonraker
  • Score: 4

5:30pm Tue 29 Jul 14

AndyJH says...

So amazed Anne Snelgrove or any of Swindon’s Labour stalwarts can dare to put their noses above the parapet on this issue considering that the previous LABOUR government planned the funding taper for the Sure Start Local Programmes to actually cease completely in March 2011. Labour’s underlying plan was to combine funding for Children Centre’s into a single Early Intervention Grant, a plan was ultimately carried through by the new coalition government.

Clearly there is a lot of memory loss from the ousted Labour MP Anne Snelgrove seeks to forget that it was Labours spend and burn wastefulness that ultimately led to hard and sometimes harsh decisions having to made on what was and is prioritised.

Yes you feel great sympathy for these parents who will be losing the service provision directly in their doorsteps but please remember that had Anne Snelgrove and Labour still been in government the cuts could have been much much worse.
So amazed Anne Snelgrove or any of Swindon’s Labour stalwarts can dare to put their noses above the parapet on this issue considering that the previous LABOUR government planned the funding taper for the Sure Start Local Programmes to actually cease completely in March 2011. Labour’s underlying plan was to combine funding for Children Centre’s into a single Early Intervention Grant, a plan was ultimately carried through by the new coalition government. Clearly there is a lot of memory loss from the ousted Labour MP Anne Snelgrove seeks to forget that it was Labours spend and burn wastefulness that ultimately led to hard and sometimes harsh decisions having to made on what was and is prioritised. Yes you feel great sympathy for these parents who will be losing the service provision directly in their doorsteps but please remember that had Anne Snelgrove and Labour still been in government the cuts could have been much much worse. AndyJH
  • Score: 6

8:27pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups?
If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh?
Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups? If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh? Davey Gravey
  • Score: -5

8:52pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Concerned of Wiltshire says...

It remains slightly alarming to click on a 'news' story and then be surprised by the glum face of Snelgrove. I though she'd abondoned Swindon?
It remains slightly alarming to click on a 'news' story and then be surprised by the glum face of Snelgrove. I though she'd abondoned Swindon? Concerned of Wiltshire
  • Score: 3

10:52am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Concerned of Wiltshire wrote:
It remains slightly alarming to click on a 'news' story and then be surprised by the glum face of Snelgrove. I though she'd abondoned Swindon?
Incorrect. It was the good people of Swindon who realised she was not working for the best interests of Swindon or those who had elected her. She was then voted out at the last general election, thankfully.

She's obviously missed the pay cheque as she's decided to chance her arm next year, presumably based on the overall view that Labour are likely to scrape enough votes to form a coalition with the LibDems.

Yes, we've got THAT to look forward to for the next five years. And what a disaster it's going to be...
[quote][p][bold]Concerned of Wiltshire[/bold] wrote: It remains slightly alarming to click on a 'news' story and then be surprised by the glum face of Snelgrove. I though she'd abondoned Swindon?[/p][/quote]Incorrect. It was the good people of Swindon who realised she was not working for the best interests of Swindon or those who had elected her. She was then voted out at the last general election, thankfully. She's obviously missed the pay cheque as she's decided to chance her arm next year, presumably based on the overall view that Labour are likely to scrape enough votes to form a coalition with the LibDems. Yes, we've got THAT to look forward to for the next five years. And what a disaster it's going to be... Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

12:19pm Wed 30 Jul 14

themoonraker says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups?
If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh?
It happened on Labour's watch, they had the choice to sort it out or do nothing....and they did absolutely nothing apart from borrow more and more to appease and support work shy wasters.
In case you hadn't realised, ;ike many other things, it is not being destroyed......that happened many years ago during the disasterous tenure of Messrs. Blair and Brown !
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups? If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh?[/p][/quote]It happened on Labour's watch, they had the choice to sort it out or do nothing....and they did absolutely nothing apart from borrow more and more to appease and support work shy wasters. In case you hadn't realised, ;ike many other things, it is not being destroyed......that happened many years ago during the disasterous tenure of Messrs. Blair and Brown ! themoonraker
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Wed 30 Jul 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups?
If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh?
Why do the bankers get sole blame for greedy individuals, businesses and governments the world over spending far more money than they could ever pay back? The banking industry was just one small part of the overall collapse.

Let's concentrate on the here and now and our (still rising) national debt, eh?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Why do Labour get blamed for the bankers balls ups? If the Tories were in government it still would have happened. Let's concentrate on the here and now and what is being destroyed eh?[/p][/quote]Why do the bankers get sole blame for greedy individuals, businesses and governments the world over spending far more money than they could ever pay back? The banking industry was just one small part of the overall collapse. Let's concentrate on the here and now and our (still rising) national debt, eh? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 4

12:38pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Some people simply cannot accept that money doesn't grow on trees and that it's not possible to simply make happen what everyone decides they'd like to happen.

Labour tend to try and take that avenue when they gain office... and we all get to see the results of it.

For some reason, some people just never learn the lesson and continue to think there's money for everything and everyone and that we'd be in a utopia if only the nasty rich people paid a bit more tax.

It's all delusional nonsense, but that doesn't stop them believing it. Very sad, really. Instead of looking for actual solutions they just spout silly propaganda that has never worked and will never work.

You'll see it next May at the general election... "Vote Labour in and everything will be brilliant".

No, it won't. Everything will be worse, after a few years, as it ALWAYS is when Labour get into office.
Some people simply cannot accept that money doesn't grow on trees and that it's not possible to simply make happen what everyone decides they'd like to happen. Labour tend to try and take that avenue when they gain office... and we all get to see the results of it. For some reason, some people just never learn the lesson and continue to think there's money for everything and everyone and that we'd be in a utopia if only the nasty rich people paid a bit more tax. It's all delusional nonsense, but that doesn't stop them believing it. Very sad, really. Instead of looking for actual solutions they just spout silly propaganda that has never worked and will never work. You'll see it next May at the general election... "Vote Labour in and everything will be brilliant". No, it won't. Everything will be worse, after a few years, as it ALWAYS is when Labour get into office. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

4:04pm Wed 30 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

Sandor Clegane wrote:
Some people simply cannot accept that money doesn't grow on trees and that it's not possible to simply make happen what everyone decides they'd like to happen.

Labour tend to try and take that avenue when they gain office... and we all get to see the results of it.

For some reason, some people just never learn the lesson and continue to think there's money for everything and everyone and that we'd be in a utopia if only the nasty rich people paid a bit more tax.

It's all delusional nonsense, but that doesn't stop them believing it. Very sad, really. Instead of looking for actual solutions they just spout silly propaganda that has never worked and will never work.

You'll see it next May at the general election... "Vote Labour in and everything will be brilliant".

No, it won't. Everything will be worse, after a few years, as it ALWAYS is when Labour get into office.
I do happen to agree with you on that, so why then do you think Labour will be voted in next time then? Presumably because more than a few of those who voted Tory at the last election have short memories too.

I have never understood how people vote anyway. some vote for one or other party no matter what and you could put up a chimpanzee as a candidate who wanted to raise taxes to 50% and the would still vote for them because they would rather die than vote for the "other side".

what percentage of the voting population do you honestly believe have any real understanding of who or what they are voting for and the consequences?
[quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: Some people simply cannot accept that money doesn't grow on trees and that it's not possible to simply make happen what everyone decides they'd like to happen. Labour tend to try and take that avenue when they gain office... and we all get to see the results of it. For some reason, some people just never learn the lesson and continue to think there's money for everything and everyone and that we'd be in a utopia if only the nasty rich people paid a bit more tax. It's all delusional nonsense, but that doesn't stop them believing it. Very sad, really. Instead of looking for actual solutions they just spout silly propaganda that has never worked and will never work. You'll see it next May at the general election... "Vote Labour in and everything will be brilliant". No, it won't. Everything will be worse, after a few years, as it ALWAYS is when Labour get into office.[/p][/quote]I do happen to agree with you on that, so why then do you think Labour will be voted in next time then? Presumably because more than a few of those who voted Tory at the last election have short memories too. I have never understood how people vote anyway. some vote for one or other party no matter what and you could put up a chimpanzee as a candidate who wanted to raise taxes to 50% and the would still vote for them because they would rather die than vote for the "other side". what percentage of the voting population do you honestly believe have any real understanding of who or what they are voting for and the consequences? house on the hill
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

@house on the hill - general elections are now so closely balanced between the Tories and Labour that they basically won by floating voters flip-flopping between the two.

Essentially, due to the LibDems being out of the picture, the next government will be voted in by people who don't really care who's elected as long as it isn't whoever's in power at the moment.

The whole thing will be driven by abject negativity and ignorance. Hence I suspect Labour will secure just enough votes to allow a pact with the hapless LibDems and off we go for five years of what will be even worse than Labour's last effort. I mean, last time they had bucketloads of money to squander and still messed everything up. This time they'll have no money and a fragile economy.

It ain't going to be pretty.
@house on the hill - general elections are now so closely balanced between the Tories and Labour that they basically won by floating voters flip-flopping between the two. Essentially, due to the LibDems being out of the picture, the next government will be voted in by people who don't really care who's elected as long as it isn't whoever's in power at the moment. The whole thing will be driven by abject negativity and ignorance. Hence I suspect Labour will secure just enough votes to allow a pact with the hapless LibDems and off we go for five years of what will be even worse than Labour's last effort. I mean, last time they had bucketloads of money to squander and still messed everything up. This time they'll have no money and a fragile economy. It ain't going to be pretty. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 0

12:09am Thu 31 Jul 14

WLECUT says...

I'm sick and tired of people thinking that the people who NEED/USE these centres are only the people that are on benefits or the people that have gotten themselves pregnant at an early age.....FYI people from all backgrounds (poor and rich) use these centres and are able to access the services without being judged. However Swindon Borough Council would like you to believe that only poor families and families that have dealings with Social Services are in need of these centres and therefore we don't need as many of them.....

Well let me tell you this: these people and Swindon Borough Council are very much mistaken; ANYONE who thinks that a child is not vulnerable should really be looking at the newspapers over the past few years, not only children from the "poor or deprived" areas get kidnapped, murdered, abused etc. Not only poor or teenage parents are being treated for PND (post natal depression), or need help with parenting skills.

These services are currently provided by the Children's centres in Swindon and other councils throughout the country and they have had a fantastic success in various areas; general well-being of children, abuse being spotted early, signs of PND being spotted early and help being given to prevent these cases having to go to the likes of Social Services.

These services are there to be used by ANYONE and to be able to do so without being judged or looked at like you should know what you are supposed to be doing.

From personal experience (and no I'm NOT on benefits and neither is my husband) I would've been lost without the help of my local children's centre as they helped me cope with my PND and gave me not only the tools to overcome this but gave me a massive confidence boost which I really needed.

There are soo many ways for these children's centres to remain open and for all children and parents to be able to access the services, however SBC has already decided that they cannot do this and are NOT willing to listen to ANY reasonable solutions. All they are interested in is to cut money from our vital services so that they can have a completely revamped town centre; question - Who is going to enjoy a revamped town centre if there are no people skilled enough to work in it? When there are teenagers running round being a nuisance (because there is nowhere for them to go).

I really believe that SBC have their priorities completely wrong; yes we need more businesses to come to the town to provide jobs (but we need them to stay there as what's the point otherwise....see next who has left town-centre) I don't disagree with that, but this shouldn't go hand-in-hand with reducing the funding for vital services that are helping "today's" children who are "tomorrow's" adults and surely their well-being is just as important, if not more important, than the growth of the town.

I'm sure most of you are going to read this and make all kinds of assumptions about me, but I really don't care about the pathetic blame game that's being played (see above comments) I'm actually interested in the well-being of our children and couldn't care less who is willing to "fight" for them (we as adults should "fight" for them as they can't) as long as the fight benefits the children and this "fight" does!!!!!!!
I'm sick and tired of people thinking that the people who NEED/USE these centres are only the people that are on benefits or the people that have gotten themselves pregnant at an early age.....FYI people from all backgrounds (poor and rich) use these centres and are able to access the services without being judged. However Swindon Borough Council would like you to believe that only poor families and families that have dealings with Social Services are in need of these centres and therefore we don't need as many of them..... Well let me tell you this: these people and Swindon Borough Council are very much mistaken; ANYONE who thinks that a child is not vulnerable should really be looking at the newspapers over the past few years, not only children from the "poor or deprived" areas get kidnapped, murdered, abused etc. Not only poor or teenage parents are being treated for PND (post natal depression), or need help with parenting skills. These services are currently provided by the Children's centres in Swindon and other councils throughout the country and they have had a fantastic success in various areas; general well-being of children, abuse being spotted early, signs of PND being spotted early and help being given to prevent these cases having to go to the likes of Social Services. These services are there to be used by ANYONE and to be able to do so without being judged or looked at like you should know what you are supposed to be doing. From personal experience (and no I'm NOT on benefits and neither is my husband) I would've been lost without the help of my local children's centre as they helped me cope with my PND and gave me not only the tools to overcome this but gave me a massive confidence boost which I really needed. There are soo many ways for these children's centres to remain open and for all children and parents to be able to access the services, however SBC has already decided that they cannot do this and are NOT willing to listen to ANY reasonable solutions. All they are interested in is to cut money from our vital services so that they can have a completely revamped town centre; question - Who is going to enjoy a revamped town centre if there are no people skilled enough to work in it? When there are teenagers running round being a nuisance (because there is nowhere for them to go). I really believe that SBC have their priorities completely wrong; yes we need more businesses to come to the town to provide jobs (but we need them to stay there as what's the point otherwise....see next who has left town-centre) I don't disagree with that, but this shouldn't go hand-in-hand with reducing the funding for vital services that are helping "today's" children who are "tomorrow's" adults and surely their well-being is just as important, if not more important, than the growth of the town. I'm sure most of you are going to read this and make all kinds of assumptions about me, but I really don't care about the pathetic blame game that's being played (see above comments) I'm actually interested in the well-being of our children and couldn't care less who is willing to "fight" for them (we as adults should "fight" for them as they can't) as long as the fight benefits the children and this "fight" does!!!!!!! WLECUT
  • Score: 0

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