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Children’s centre looks set to close

A children’s centre in Daventry has been earmarked for closure by Northamptonshire County Council.

The authority has launched a consultation into the future of services at the Daventry East Children’s Centre at Benbow Close on the Southbrook estate. It believes the same services can be delivered from different venues.

Services could be delivered at either Southbrook Community Hub, Daventry Library, The Abbey Centre or Daventry Leisure Centre. Staff teams would be relocated to the Daventry West Children’s Centre or Daventry Family Centre site.

Cllr Alan Hills, district councillor for the area said: “I do understand what the county council is trying to do. However, I have grave concerns.

“I am worried for the sense of community that could be lost and the other is if some of the services go to the town, I think some mums will not go to them.”

Explaining the move Cllr Heather Smith, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We recently awarded a contract for the delivery of children centre services in Daventry.

“In working through the details of how those services will be provided, it became apparent that the Daventry East Children’s Centre presents some challenges.

“We don’t own the building, we’ve never been entirely happy with its accessibility and we have reservations about the wisdom of securing its long-term use given the availability of alternative venues locally.”

The council is in the process of introducing changes 
to the management and delivery of children’s centre services.

This new model of providing services will see children’s centre services developed as early help specialists with input from health services, supplemented by the county’s libraries.

Libraries will become the default local venue for non-specialist services such as registration and advice while the children’s centres will focus on targeted support for families in need of extra help and expertise.

The consultation runs to August 14 with a decision due in September. Visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/consultations

 

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