28 Nov 2013, Katy Morton
Dudley Borough Council proposed closing seven of its 20 centres earlier this month in a bid to make savings of £2.3 million on its children’s centre budget.
Under the plans, the remaining 13 children’s centres would have been linked together into four ‘clusters’ to reduce management and administrative costs.
Parents campaigned on Facebook to save the children’s centres from closing. A petition was also launched, which received 40 signatures.
Councillor David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council, announced yesterday his decision to reverse the proposals to close the centres for the ‘foreseeable future’.
He 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 £60 million worth of cuts we face.
‘Council bosses will now look at alternative ways of saving the £2.3 million. We will also continue with the current consultation with children’s centre staff and families, to gather more information on how the centres are used.'