09 May 2016

Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet will tomorrow (Tuesday) discuss proposed changes to children’s centre services in Northamptonshire.

As part of the budget for 2016 to 2017, Cabinet agreed in February to reduce funding for children’s centre services by £3million to £7million amid unprecedented demand for local services and reduced funding from central government.

Consultation closed

The county council, in partnership with children’s centre service providers, put forward proposals about how services could be delivered and these proposals were subject to a six-week public consultation, which concluded on 28 April.

The plans will now go to Cabinet which propose to reduce the number of designated children’s centres from 50 to 42 and relocate services from 14 further centres.

The children’s centres proposed for closure are:

  • Headlands in Northampton
  • Parklands in Northampton
  • Wootton in Northampton
  • Bugbrooke in South Northants
  • Croyland in Wellingborough
  • Oakway in Wellingborough
  • Ronald Tree in Kettering
  • Thornton in Kettering

Services currently delivered at Camrose will be relocated to Kings Heath which will become the designated children’s centre for the area. A further 13 children’s centres are being relocated and will see services delivered from the nearest library, with the library being the designated children’s centre for the area.

'Greatest need'

County council cabinet member for learning and families Cllr Matthew Golby said: “Children’s centre services will still be available across Northamptonshire, but financial pressures mean that we will be using a larger proportion of the funding available for services in areas of greatest need, such as Northampton East and Central, Corby and Wellingborough.

“We are committed to ensuring families across Northamptonshire have access to the services and support they need, whether that be at a children’s centre, at their local library or at another community venue.”

The 13 children’s centres where services proposed for relocation to the nearest library are:

  • Deanshanger
  • Desborough
  • Duston
  • Gloucester (Northampton Central)
  • Higham Ferrers
  • Hunsbury
  • Long Buckby
  • Meadowside (Burton Latimer)
  • Middleton Cheney
  • Rothwell
  • Thrapston
  • Vernon Terrace (Northampton Central)
  • Woodford Halse

Alternative uses for the children’s centre buildings which will no longer be used are currently being explored.

The Cabinet meeting will take place at County Hall on Tuesday at 2pm.

The Cabinet paper is available to view online.