Update: Children’s centre on Southbrook to close

Residents on the Southbrook estate will have to use other venues including DSLV community hub.
Residents on the Southbrook estate will have to use other venues including DSLV community hub.

Daventry East Children’s Centre is to close its current premises after a meeting of Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

Despite impassioned pleas from campaigners, NCC cabinet members said retaining the building, on one of Daventry’s most deprived estates, was not an option.

Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Heather Smith, said there had been a lack of understanding over the way children’s services in Northamptonshire are changing. She stressed the closure would allow more money to be used on frontline care for vulnerable families.

She said: “I know this is a particularly difficult subject for them [campaigners]. But the service is no longer about buildings, it is about using the money we have to help the most vulnerable and a lot of that work most be carried out in their own homes.”

The closure is part of a raft of measures designed to improve performance. Closing the building, which has been the centre’s base for 10 years, will lead to the services being run from various other locations on the estate and further afield.

Options including using the Community Hub at the Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village, libraries and the leisure centre.

Before opening the current building the services were run from the nearby community centre.

But Cllr Alan Hills, who was behind the original introduction of the children’s centre, said NCC was simply not listening to residents. He said: “The problem we have got is that the most vulnerable people in Daventry simply won’t travel to some other area.”