More than half of Rotherham's children's centres at risk

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Thirteen children’s centres in Rotherham are under threat of closure in a council bid to make savings of £2.2m.

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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council offices

Last week, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in South Yorkshire announced plans to close 13 of the borough’s 22 children’s centres.

Under the proposal, Rotherham’s remaining nine children’s centres would be ‘clustered’ to form seven ‘registered children’s centres’, covering a larger area than before.

If given the go-ahead, the move would see Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council make required savings of £2.2m for 2014-16.

A 45-day consultation period will be launched by the council to assess the impact of closing the centres.

During a council meeting last week, cabinet members said that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council was ‘making every effort to protect services where possible’ and had ‘demonstrated its commitment to supporting Rotherham’s children and its most vulnerable citizens. However, the point had now arrived where a decision has to be made on the future provision that can be offered.’

According to a local paper report, the proposed closure of the borough’s 13 children’s centres would affect nearly 2,500 children and their families.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is one of a number of local authorities that in the last six months has announced plans to close some of its children’s centres, following a reduction in council budgets.