We’ve had a rethink on children’s centres
REVISED plans have been made for the future of Swindon’s children’s centres to reflect the views of the hundreds of parents who responded to the council’s consultation.
More than 300 parents gave feedback to the authority’s six-week consultation looking into the provision of funding for its 14 centres across the borough.
The results were published in a report yesterday ahead of the council’s cabinet meeting debating plans on Wednesday.
The main highlights include a shift in the amount of funding channelled towards vulnerable families from a 90/10 per cent split to a 80/ 20 per cent divide.
Coun David Renard, leader of the council, said this reflected feedback from the majority of parents who voiced their concerns.
“I’m happy we have had extensive consultation.
“We have listened to the feedback from parents and the report has made some changes to the original proposal that help reflect what we have been told,” said Coun Renard, who represents the Haydon Wick ward.
Other changes include Green-meadow Children Centre being merged with Butterflies – with the two centres sharing staff and resources.
“A number of parents were from the Butterflies area who attended Greenmeadow,” said Sue Wald, head of commissioning children and adults. ”It would be a more natural move to Butterflies than the super cluster.”
Last month the Adver launched a campaign to rally support against the £390,000 cuts to children centres funding which has to be made by the council before its 2014/15 budget.
The petition, which had approximately 700 signatures, was presented to Coun Renard yesterday.
“Like other local governments we are going through a period of contraction,” said Coun Renard.
“We have fewer resources and have to find new ways of doing things and still provide the service residents want to see.
“We are not going to keep everyone happy all of the time but this is the best possible outcome for as many families as possible.”
He added new legislation brought in my Ofsted meant Swindon Council had to start steering their funding towards the most vulnerable and this was something every authority was doing.
Anyone who would like to view the revised plans should visit ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=285&Year=0.
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