Campaigners fighting borough children's centre changes are taking their battle to the streets (From Halesowen News)
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Campaigners fighting borough children's centre changes are taking their battle to the streets
3:43pm Friday 24th January 2014 in News
CAMPAIGNERS fighting changes to children’s centres are planning to take their protest to the streets of Dudley.
Dudley Council’s cabinet is set to debate major alterations to how borough children’s centres are run in a bid to save cash.
The council backtracked on a plan to close centres but argues restructuring is still needed however campaigners say the authority should leave them alone.
Members of the cabinet will meet on Wednesday February 12 to decide the fate of the centres. Protestors will be holding a demonstration the day before in the hope they can persuade councillors to reject plans for changes.
Mum Sarah Shotton, from Haydon Road, Pensnett, whose daughter attends the Bromley Pensnett centre, said: “The fight is for every site, children’s centres are crucial. They should leave us alone, what is the point of changing.”
The council is proposing to downscale a number of the centres by creating five hubs plus satellite centres which will open when necessary.
The plan would slash around £1.5m from the council’s bill for running the centres, cash the council says has to be saved due to cuts in grants from central government.
However campaigners say their children are already being upset by the prospect of changes.
Sarah Shotton said: “My daughter cries every day and asks if we are going to the children’s centre. I would be scared to tell her if it’s not available to her.
“The staff are 100 per cent there for me and have been a really big help, I would be lost without them.”
The draft proposal to be voted on by the cabinet says children’s services would aim to fulfil their statutory obligations and deliver support for families in need, priority would be given to early years, learning and development of children.
The protest against the proposed changes will start at 9.45am on Tuesday February 11 at Dudley Council House, Priory Road, Dudley.
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