Children's centre consultation

Published Thursday, 1st May 2014
Child's drawing
Child's drawing

Consultation with local communities could lead to two more children's centres in Rotherham staying open following the 12 week consultation period that ended yesterday (Wednesday, April 30).

Members of the Council's Cabinet heard at their meeting yesterday that one of the key themes to quickly emerge from the consultation was the need for an even geographical distribution and spread of centres.

Based on this rationale, Cabinet members heard that facilities at Dinnington and Wath should remain and that this will be discussed in detail when a full report on the consultation process is considered at a later date.

As part of an up-date report, members heard that over 1,600 representations have been made to the authority in response to the plans announced in January to change the way services are provided from April 2015  by having fewer centres. The need to consider this has been due to the reduction in Government funding from the Early Years and Child Care Service by £2.2 million.

There have been 14 consultation events across the borough and these have been successful in enabling communities to contribute their views. Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director of Children and Young People's Services for the Council, emphasised that no final decision will be made until the final report into the consultation is considered.

She added: "We have had an excellent response to the consultation proposal. That proposal was based on local levels of deprivation and need but the consultation has quickly revealed that outlying areas also have to be considered from a geographical point of view. If more centres do remain open, such as at Dinnington and Wath, we will also have to consider how the authority can financially sustain these two buildings."

Following the completion of the public consultation an options report, which will analyse all the responses, will be submitted to Cabinet, which will make a final decision.