Decision on children's centre changes due in spring

Lancashire County Council approved a reduction its budget for children's centres more than a year ago
Lancashire County Council approved a reduction its budget for children's centres more than a year ago
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A final decision about which buildings will stop delivering children and family wellbeing services in Lancashire will be made in April.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet approved plans to remove the support programmes from 19 locations late last year, following a public consultation. A definitive decision was reached over the futures of a dozen facilities, but “further consideration” has since been given to a list of 14 locations – with the aim of identifying seven which will no longer operate as a family wellbeing hub.

READ MORE >>> A dozen children's centres to stop delivering family wellbeing services

The authority has said that the services themselves will continue – either from other locations or delivered directly into residents’ homes.

It has now confirmed three centres for which the recommendation will be to stop offering the service – in Preston, Clitheroe and Nelson. Five others across the county have been earmarked to continue, while a separate, second public consultation is being carried out in the Burnley and Rossendale districts (full details below).

Lancashire County Council says that its model for delivering family services will remain “flexible according to need”. The authority says that it has considered several factors about which buildings to continue using for family support programmes, including their accessibility and the cost of making the facilities fit for the future.

Buildings from which family services are no longer delivered could remain open for open for other purposes. The county council approved a £1.25m reduction its budget for children's services twelve months ago.

Louise Taylor, executive director for adult services, health and wellbeing, said: “A final decision on this proposal will be taken by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet.

“The decision is due to be taken in April after the consultation covering the Burnley and Rossendale centres is complete.”

The Burnley and Rossendale consultation runs until 8th March.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

The following recommendations will be put to cabinet in April:

Children’s centres which will no longer deliver family services:

Ashton Young People’s Centre, Preston (12-19+)

Ribblesdale Children’s Centre, Clitheroe (0-11)

Walton Lane Children’s Centre, Nelson (0-11)

Children’s centres which will continue to deliver family services:

Riverbank Children’s Centre, Preston (0-11)

The Zone, Clitheroe (12-19+)

The Zone, Nelson (12-19+)

Longridge Young People’s Centre, Longridge (12-19+)*

Willow’s Park Children’s Centre, Longridge (0-11)*

*subject to further discussions

In Burnley and Rossendale, the proposal, subject to the outcome of the ongoing public consultation is:

To stop delivering family services from:

Stoneyholme and Daneshouse Young People’s Centre, Burnley (12-19+)

Padiham Young People’s Centre, Padiham (12-19+)

Whitworth Young People’s Centre, Whitworth (12-19+)

Whitworth Children’s Centre, Whitworth (0-11)

To continue delivering family services from:

The Chai Centre, Burnley (0-11)

Whitegate Children’s Centre, Burnley (0-11)

Whitworth Library (not included in original consultation last year)