Children’s centres face closure as county makes cuts

Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. EMN-150909-170439001
Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. EMN-150909-170439001
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Children’s centres at Caythorpe and Ancaster could be closed as part of cuts made by the county council.

An online petition already has over 1,500 signatures calling for the County Council to reconsider a proposal to close 15 Sure Start Children’s Centres around the county.

The county has 48 children’s centres but is considering doing away with its 15 ‘phase 3’ centres due to funding cuts, including Caythorpe and Ancaster and which are attached to primary schools.

The petition has been started on by Helena Mair of Lincoln. She says: “They are an essential support network in promoting child development and school readiness in more disadvantaged familes.”

Coun Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “As the council has to find around £42m of savings next year alone, all service areas are seeing budget reductions for next year and beyond.”

She said the remaining centres are to support families and children in the most deprived communities and any options would need to go out to consultation.

The council will make its budget cut decisions on Friday February 19.

Rachel Armitage of Caythorpe said the news the village’s children’s centre could close was awful. She said: “It runs some brilliant classes for all ages and is an opportunity for new parents to get out of the house and socialise with other parents. For those who don’t drive it is a long bus ride to the nearest centre in Sleaford.”