Councillors set to debate future of children’s centres
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
The future of 38 children's centres in Norfolk is due to be discussed today.
Norfolk County Council's children's services committee will debate the fate of the centres across the county, which have been earmarked for closure as part of plans to halve its children's services budget.
More than 1,600 people responded to the council's consultation over the proposals, which were branded 'reckless' and 'short-sighted' by some.
A revised plan, revealed last week, shows the council is now proposing to keep 15 centres open as local bases – two in each district and three in Norwich.
It is also confident that the 38 children's centres set to close will continue to be used for childcare and family services and activities.
Under the new plans three centres which were set to stay open, in Attleborough, Holt and Terrington St Clement, are now proposed not be retained – although the council says Attleborough will operate as a 'multi-function hub'.
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Some councillors are still not convinced by the proposals, with one labelling the proposals 'a stitch-up'.
Mike Smith-Clare, Labour spokesman for children's services, said: 'People have detailed the impact this is going to have on their lives and they still have not listened. We will continue to fight this.'
Meanwhile Ed Maxfield, Liberal Democrat councillor, has claimed that the council may have to pay back £16m in government grants if it pushes ahead with the closures – but the council has refuted this suggestion, saying it has reviewed all 'potential liabilities'.
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Stuart Dark, chairman of the council's children's services committee, said: 'We have listened and have updated our proposals.
'I believe we can provide effective, targeted support to children and families, through outreach support in people's homes and venues across the county, plus 15 early childhood and family bases in the areas of highest need.'
The 15 centres which could be retained
Swaffham Children's Centre, White Cross Road, Swaffham
Thetford Kingsway Children's Centre, Kingsway, Thetford
Acle Marshes Children's Centre, Bridewell Lane, Acle
Drayton and Taverham Children's Centre
Great Yarmouth Children's Centre, The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, Great Yarmouth
Seagulls Children's Centre, Great Yarmouth
Downham Market Children's Centre, Snape Lane, Paradise Road, Downham Market
Nar Children's Centre, Saddlebow Road, South Lynn, King's Lynn
Fakenham Gateway Children's Centre, Norwich Road, Fakenham
North Walsham Children's Centre, Manor Road, North Walsham
Catton Grove, Fiddlewood and Mile Cross Children's Centre, Hunter Road, Norwich
City and Eaton Children's Centre, Norwich
Earlham Children's Centre, Norwich
Diss Children's Centre, Diss Infant and Nursery School, Fitzwalter Road, Diss
Long Stratton Children's Centre
The 38 which would still cease to be children's centres
Thorpe Hamlet and Heartsease Children's Centre, Wolfe Road, Norwich
East City and Framingham Earl Children's Centre, Duckett Close, Norwich
Earlham Early Years Centre, Motum Road, Norwich
Bowthorpe, West Earlham and Costessey Children's Centre, Humbleyard, Clover Hill, Norwich
North City Children's Centre, Angel Road Infant School, Angel Road, Norwich
Aylsham Children's Centre and Reepham Children's Centre, The Pavilion, Sir Williams Lane, Aylsham (two children's centres use the same building)
Attleborough Children's Centre, Church Street, Attleborough
Hellesdon Children's Centre, Horsford Infant School, Holt Road, Horsford
Spixworth and Sprowston Children's Centre, Sprowston Infant School, Recreation Ground Road. Norwich
Hoveton and Broadland Children's Centre, Hoveton Youth and Community Centre, Stalham Road, Hoveton
Dussindale Children's Centre, Woodside Community Base, Witard Road, Norwich
Hunstanton Children's Centre, Avenue Road, Hunstanton
North Lynn, Gaywood Children's Centre, Walpole Road, King's Lynn
Vancouver Children's Centre, Fairstead Community Centre, Centre Point, King's Lynn
West Walton Children's Centre, Ashleigh Infant and Nursery School, School Road, Wisbech
Methwold Children's Centre, Old School House, Brandon
Emneth Children's Centre, Hollycroft Road, Emneth
Watton Children's Centre, Westfield Infant and Nursery School, West Road, Thetford
Thetford Drake Children's Centre, Drake Primary School, Fairfields, Thetford
St Clement's Children's Centre, Churchgate Way, Terrington St Clement
Dereham Central and Dereham South Children's Centre, London Road, East Dereham (two children's centres use the same building)
Litcham Children's Centre, Litcham Primary School, Weasenham Road, Litcham
Harleston Children's Centre, Harleston Primary School, School Lane, Harleston
Loddon Children's Centre, Loddon Library Annexe, Church Plain, Loddon
Wymondham Children's Centre, Ashleigh Infant and Nursery School, Sheffield Road, Wymondham
Hethersett Children's Centre, Hethersett Woodside Nursery and Infant School, Firs Road, Hethersett
Village Green Children's Centre, Moorlands Primary Academy, Moorland Way, Belton
Greenacre Children's Centre, Peggoty Road, Great Yarmouth
Gorleston and Hopton Children's Centre, Gorleston Library, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston
Caister Children's Centre, Caister Infant Nursery School and Children's Centre, Kingston Avenue, Caister-on-Sea
Trinity Children's Centre, Martham Primary and Nursery School, Black Street, Martham
Stalham and Sutton Children's Centre, Brumstead Road, Stalham
Mundesley Children's Centre, Trunch Road, Mundesley
Cromer Children's Centre, Mill Road, Cromer
Stibbard Children's Centre, Fulmodeston Road, Stibbard
Wells Children's Centre, Polka Road, Wells-next-the-Sea
Holt, Wells and Stibbard Children's Centre, Charles Road, Holt