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Lib Dems raise concerns over future of Children's Centres in Surrey

March 6, 2018 3:10 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Chris Botten Stephen CookseyLiberal Democrat county councillors have raised concern over the future of Children's Centres in Surrey. Currently there are 58 centres across the county, providing services such as childcare, play and learning sessions, parenting courses, employment support and information and guidance for low-income families. Surrey County Council is currently consulting on a new model for delivering its "Early Help" services, with the aim of saving at least £9.7m.


Cllr Chris Botten, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Children & Education, said:


"Our Children's Centres do so much for families and children which is not well publicised, and Surrey should be proud of them. They provide essential guidance and support for families with challenges and make a real difference to their lives. I will be doing all I can to ensure that we can save as much of the skill and commitment of the staff and ensure that they continue to make a difference in the future."


Cllr Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat county councillor Dorking South & the Holmwoods, added:


"My local Children's Centre in Goodwyns plays a vital role in providing services to an area of great need within Surrey. It supports local families in a variety of ways and is a vital resource which should be protected. However the proposals currently being discussed could mean a loss of at least 40% of its funding. The County Council needs to reassure local service users, and service providers, that this is a genuine consultation as to how it can better serve the needs of local families at a time when spending is tight, rather than just an academic exercise to justify painful cuts".


NOTES

The report on Children's Centres and Early Help discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday 27th February 2018, can be found here:

https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/s43732/ITEM%2006%20-%20Early%20Help%20Strategy%20Cabinet%20Paper%20Final%20v1.0.pdf