Campaigners get their wish for consultation on Children's centres

Buckinghamshire County Council is moving ahead with plans for a new early help service for children and families.
Buckinghamshire County Council is moving ahead with plans for a new early help service for children and families.

Buckinghamshire County Council is moving ahead with plans for a new early help service for children and families.

Earlier this year, plans were given the go ahead to redesign services that support families in Buckinghamshire with early help by bringing them together as one service; the ultimate goal to make it easier for families to be supported with all of their issues ranging from when their children are babies right through to teenagers.

Alka Dass, who has been leading the campaign against the closure of children’s centres in Bucks, said: “‘We are pleased that Cllr Whyte has announced the first round of dates for public meetings.

"To be honest these public meetings should have been part of the consultation, we seem to be doing things an odd way around but nonetheless, at least we have them and our request has been taken into consideration.

"We can finally get answers to our questions and get our voices heard properly about the children’s centres in Bucks.

She continued: ‘The cabinet decision authorised discussions over the next 6 months to explore how buildings could be repurposed and it is absolutely right that there should be strong involvement from local members.

“We will still fight the closures of the children’s centres but sensible conversations need to take place and SMART decisions need to be made. We should be part of this as our children are the future of Bucks and their safety and development should be at the heart of all our decisions.

“We must also request that Cllr Warren Whyte is there to lead these meetings.”

“Our plan has always been to talk to the local community about future options for their local children’s centres. We are busy planning these dates and will of course be promoting these to families and local groups in each area.

Alongside this we are having conversations with local schools, councillors and groups around options for children’s centres going forward and how these can be used and benefit the local community. We have always said that we will use the next six months to have these conversations and put proposals together.

Each location is different and with such a large number of centres we won’t have solutions for every centre overnight. Therefore I’d ask the local community to be patient with us, come to us if they have any questions, send us their ideas via the website www.buckscc.gov.uk/earlyhelp<http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/earlyhelp> and work with us to find the right solution for each individual centre.

We know change is unsettling but we also know that we need to do more to support children and families earlier, with a service that is flexible to meet their individual needs.”

What do you think about the children’s services shake up?

let us know, editorial@bucksherald.co.uk