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26 - Children’s centres will remain open

Children’s centres have been saved from closure following consultation with families across the Dudley borough.

Dudley Council launched a major consultation earlier this month over plans to close seven out of the 20 centres.

It aimed to save £2.3million from the children’s centre’s budget under a major restructure of the service.

But now, the council leader has taken the decision to reverse the proposals to close the centres for the foreseeable future.

Councillor David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council, said:

“We have listened to what people have to say on the future of children’s centres in line with our commitment as a community council, and that is why I have taken the decision to keep them open for the foreseeable future.

“People have made it very clear that children’s centres are an important function of the community and I see no reason why families should be in a state of anxiety over a vital service to them.

“I hope that all our MPs will join me in focussing on the government to lobby for more funding to tackle the £60million worth of cuts we face.”

Council bosses will now look at alternative ways of saving the £2.3million. It will also continue with the current consultation with children’s centre staff and families, to gather more information on how the centres are used.

Meanwhile, the council’s cabinet has approved a proposed budget which includes plans to make £25.8million of savings across the council over the next three years. But council bosses acknowledge that up to £60 million of savings will be needed.

People can take part in the Big Question consultation for 2014/15 by visiting www.dudley.gov.uk or picking up a hard copy form from Dudley Council Plus or their local library.

The children’s centres consultation can be found at www.dudley.gov.uk

News Release Contact Information

Chris Howes - 01384 815232 - chris.howes@dudley.gov.uk