OUTRAGE has broken out after a consultation programme for cuts to children centres in Worcestershire was given the go-ahead.
The county council launched the initiative on Monday (July 4) but county councillor Peter McDonald (Lab, Beacon) leader of the Labour Group, slammed the move for focusing on the accounts and not on the people these cuts will effect.
“These cutbacks will remove support to families who are most in need and will seriously hurt families and their children and affect the well being of future generations.
“It is time such austerity cuts were stopped. Children’s services go to the heart of family life and should be protected at all times.”
There are currently eight centres in Redditch and the plan under consideration would transfer six of these to the schools near them and one to the current childcare provider which operates inside.
Only one of the town’s centres would be unchanged by the proposal.
Coun John Smith (Con, Evesham NW) responsible for Health and Wellbeing, said the council faced financial challenges.
“This means that some of our current services may be reduced or have to be delivered in a very different way,” he said.
“ We are working with existing providers to deliver these new ways of working, making sure resources are targeted at those young people who are in most need. This will allow us to focus on improving outcomes for children and young people.”
Coun Marc Bayliss (Con, St Peters) cabinet member for Children and families, urged residents to come forward and have their say on the proposals which he argues will increase early years education and childcare provision.
“We’re using this consultation to better understand the impact of these changes,” he said.