Consultation over child centre plans

MP Robert Buckland

MP Robert Buckland

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

POLITICIANS are urging residents to have their say in a consultation on the planned closure of half of the town’s children’s centres.

Earlier this week it emerged the council is considering closing many of the centres in a bid to save almost £800,000.

While those which serve the highest number of vulnerable children will remain open, seven could be closed next year.

A consultation is due to take place at the end of July to gather people’s views on the proposals.

Plans to convert Abbey Meads and West Swindon into multi-generational centres and keep several buildings in public use also form part of the consultation.

The council needs to find £48 million of savings in the next three years, which is why the move is being put forward, but targeting children’s centres has drawn criticism from parents and politicians.

Councillor Mark Dempsey (Lab, Walcot and Park North), who is the Swindon North parliamentary candidate said: “I am deeply worried to hear that the Tories are planning to slash seven children’s centres in Swindon. These centres are vital to protecting vulnerable children and helping families give their children the best start in life.

“I hear from families across Swindon how important our children’s centres are. I fear that this decision will be deeply damaging for the life chances and lives of children and families across our town.”

The Conservatives have said they are focused on trying to make key savings. Coun Fionuala Foley (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn) said: “We have to find these savings, which means tough decisions have to be made.”

One of the mitigating arguments being given for possible closure is that the impact will not be as bad for the most vulnerable children as there are due to be an extra 17 health visitors in Swindon by next April when the plans come into force.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “There is a consultation first and I would urge everyone to take part in that.

“There needs to be a focus on making sure we are helping the most vulnerable children. That is why I am pleased there will be extra health visitors in Swindon. Outreach services are very important. For example, a mother with post-natal depression does not want to go to a children’s centre.

“This is a very tough decision and is not helped by some of the political posturing I have seen this week.”

The consultation will be focused on staff and users of the children’s centres and will run for two months from July 29.

Comments (12)

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8:30am Sat 19 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

“This is a very tough decision and is not helped by some of the political posturing I have seen this week.”


Crikey!
Only this week???

Score - 427 👎
[quote]“This is a very tough decision and is not helped by some of the political posturing I have seen this week.”[/quote] Crikey! Only this week??? Score - 427 👎 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 1

8:33am Sat 19 Jul 14

beach1e says...

so the staff and users will be asked what they think..how about the people that fund these services?i.e hard working council tax payers?as per ususal, they have no choice but to cough up for those that are happy to let everyone else take care of them which is fine if they have a genuine need, but there are far too many taking services that they arent in real need of.
so the staff and users will be asked what they think..how about the people that fund these services?i.e hard working council tax payers?as per ususal, they have no choice but to cough up for those that are happy to let everyone else take care of them which is fine if they have a genuine need, but there are far too many taking services that they arent in real need of. beach1e
  • Score: -9

10:49am Sat 19 Jul 14

AMSOSA says...

Lets really save even more more money but stopping all the so called expenses we are made to pay the councillors!

An average of £7,710 a year is paid per person, and almost each ward has three councillors, which makes 57 people getting paid to tell us how Swindon needs to save money

As for a public consultation? They are a waste of time as the decision has already been made

Sack them all
Lets really save even more more money but stopping all the so called expenses we are made to pay the councillors! An average of £7,710 a year is paid per person, and almost each ward has three councillors, which makes 57 people getting paid to tell us how Swindon needs to save money As for a public consultation? They are a waste of time as the decision has already been made Sack them all AMSOSA
  • Score: 11

12:06pm Sat 19 Jul 14

tucker81 says...

Abolish taxes, privatise everything
Abolish taxes, privatise everything tucker81
  • Score: 2

5:32pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Hmmmf says...

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said:
There needs to be a focus on making sure we are helping the most vulnerable children.

It would help if there were some kind of peer-reviewed and definitive evidence that these centres actually do help 'vulnerable' children, and are not simply a convenience for parents, particularly in light of the £700k expenditure on new health-visitors.
From what I can glean, these are actually 'parent centres' providing services and convenience for parents (adults), and according to this: http://goo.gl/2qME6B there's no evidence that they benefit children at all.
[quote][p][bold]South Swindon MP Robert Buckland[/bold] said: There needs to be a focus on making sure we are helping the most vulnerable children.[/quote] It would help if there were some kind of peer-reviewed and definitive evidence that these centres actually do help 'vulnerable' children, and are not simply a convenience for parents, particularly in light of the £700k expenditure on new health-visitors. From what I can glean, these are actually 'parent centres' providing services and convenience for parents (adults), and according to this: http://goo.gl/2qME6B there's no evidence that they benefit children at all. Hmmmf
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Sat 19 Jul 14

ukdaytona says...

Hmmmf wrote:
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said:
There needs to be a focus on making sure we are helping the most vulnerable children.

It would help if there were some kind of peer-reviewed and definitive evidence that these centres actually do help 'vulnerable' children, and are not simply a convenience for parents, particularly in light of the £700k expenditure on new health-visitors.
From what I can glean, these are actually 'parent centres' providing services and convenience for parents (adults), and according to this: http://goo.gl/2qME6B there's no evidence that they benefit children at all.
Im guessing from the fact you believe that the is no evidence that these centres help children that you do not use them.

I would like to see where else the Council are making such large cuts in services as I do use the Saltwat Centre for my daughter, it is not a parents meeting place where we all sit around drinking tea and eating biscuits, we are there for our children to receive much needed assistance and also bear in mind that some of these centres share their facilities with primary schools so by closing the centres what impact willit have on the schools
[quote][p][bold]Hmmmf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]South Swindon MP Robert Buckland[/bold] said: There needs to be a focus on making sure we are helping the most vulnerable children.[/quote] It would help if there were some kind of peer-reviewed and definitive evidence that these centres actually do help 'vulnerable' children, and are not simply a convenience for parents, particularly in light of the £700k expenditure on new health-visitors. From what I can glean, these are actually 'parent centres' providing services and convenience for parents (adults), and according to this: http://goo.gl/2qME6B there's no evidence that they benefit children at all.[/p][/quote]Im guessing from the fact you believe that the is no evidence that these centres help children that you do not use them. I would like to see where else the Council are making such large cuts in services as I do use the Saltwat Centre for my daughter, it is not a parents meeting place where we all sit around drinking tea and eating biscuits, we are there for our children to receive much needed assistance and also bear in mind that some of these centres share their facilities with primary schools so by closing the centres what impact willit have on the schools ukdaytona
  • Score: 10

7:34am Sun 20 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

beach1e wrote:
so the staff and users will be asked what they think..how about the people that fund these services?i.e hard working council tax payers?as per ususal, they have no choice but to cough up for those that are happy to let everyone else take care of them which is fine if they have a genuine need, but there are far too many taking services that they arent in real need of.
Not sure why that received so many negative thumbs, I can only think there are too many loony lefties around who think the state should fund everything for everyone with no idea on how it would be paid for.

As everyone has said on here, we all believe those who need help should get it but why are we spending money on those who clearly dont?

If we started just helping those who needed help and not those who just expect it we could solve the financial problems in the council, the NHS, the welfare state and council housing at a stroke. How can we sustain a society where more than half the adult population take more from the state than they contribute and rising? Until we become more responsible for ourselves and our own choices these sorts of cuts will continue to be made as more pressure is put on the council to deliver more and more services with less and less. Get real people, there is no bottomless pit of money and you cant take what isnt there!
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: so the staff and users will be asked what they think..how about the people that fund these services?i.e hard working council tax payers?as per ususal, they have no choice but to cough up for those that are happy to let everyone else take care of them which is fine if they have a genuine need, but there are far too many taking services that they arent in real need of.[/p][/quote]Not sure why that received so many negative thumbs, I can only think there are too many loony lefties around who think the state should fund everything for everyone with no idea on how it would be paid for. As everyone has said on here, we all believe those who need help should get it but why are we spending money on those who clearly dont? If we started just helping those who needed help and not those who just expect it we could solve the financial problems in the council, the NHS, the welfare state and council housing at a stroke. How can we sustain a society where more than half the adult population take more from the state than they contribute and rising? Until we become more responsible for ourselves and our own choices these sorts of cuts will continue to be made as more pressure is put on the council to deliver more and more services with less and less. Get real people, there is no bottomless pit of money and you cant take what isnt there! house on the hill
  • Score: 2

8:00am Sun 20 Jul 14

GrumpyGp84 says...

If closing Children’s Care Centres only meant that a few Yummie Mummies would find it harder to take their little darlings in their Super Buggies to a coffee morning where their children learn the words of “The Wheels on the Bus” then by all means close them down ! !
But even some of the Council Members must know that there is much more to the Children’s Care Centres than that. Their main role is far more important. It is to look after vulnerable children from deprived backgrounds who suffer because of domestic violence, poverty and just plain negligence.
And does anyone really believe that the Council will take the slightest notice of comments from the public ?....Yes, and pigs might fly !
If closing Children’s Care Centres only meant that a few Yummie Mummies would find it harder to take their little darlings in their Super Buggies to a coffee morning where their children learn the words of “The Wheels on the Bus” then by all means close them down ! ! But even some of the Council Members must know that there is much more to the Children’s Care Centres than that. Their main role is far more important. It is to look after vulnerable children from deprived backgrounds who suffer because of domestic violence, poverty and just plain negligence. And does anyone really believe that the Council will take the slightest notice of comments from the public ?....Yes, and pigs might fly ! GrumpyGp84
  • Score: 15

8:50am Sun 20 Jul 14

El Bob says...

Buckland moaning about political posturing?!!! Chortle!
Buckland moaning about political posturing?!!! Chortle! El Bob
  • Score: 1

11:12am Sun 20 Jul 14

Grimly Feendish says...

http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2698664/New-law-chie
f-guilty-misconduct-
race-hate-trial-didn
-t-tell-PM-Professio
nal-misconduct-illic
itly-getting-case-no
tes-involving-school
-governor.html

Whoops! Mr Buckland.
http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2698664/New-law-chie f-guilty-misconduct- race-hate-trial-didn -t-tell-PM-Professio nal-misconduct-illic itly-getting-case-no tes-involving-school -governor.html Whoops! Mr Buckland. Grimly Feendish
  • Score: -1

6:55pm Sun 20 Jul 14

trolley dolley says...

GrumpyGp84 wrote:
If closing Children’s Care Centres only meant that a few Yummie Mummies would find it harder to take their little darlings in their Super Buggies to a coffee morning where their children learn the words of “The Wheels on the Bus” then by all means close them down ! !
But even some of the Council Members must know that there is much more to the Children’s Care Centres than that. Their main role is far more important. It is to look after vulnerable children from deprived backgrounds who suffer because of domestic violence, poverty and just plain negligence.
And does anyone really believe that the Council will take the slightest notice of comments from the public ?....Yes, and pigs might fly !
I thought these Mothers drop in centres were still to be retained in the deprived areas.
[quote][p][bold]GrumpyGp84[/bold] wrote: If closing Children’s Care Centres only meant that a few Yummie Mummies would find it harder to take their little darlings in their Super Buggies to a coffee morning where their children learn the words of “The Wheels on the Bus” then by all means close them down ! ! But even some of the Council Members must know that there is much more to the Children’s Care Centres than that. Their main role is far more important. It is to look after vulnerable children from deprived backgrounds who suffer because of domestic violence, poverty and just plain negligence. And does anyone really believe that the Council will take the slightest notice of comments from the public ?....Yes, and pigs might fly ![/p][/quote]I thought these Mothers drop in centres were still to be retained in the deprived areas. trolley dolley
  • Score: 2

7:21pm Sun 20 Jul 14

messyits says...

Grimly
You should remember the case in question--however at the time Robert was duty-bound to use the discovery system to evaluate the severity of the situation in his role as Governor. He was censured only by the Barristers self regulating body and that was removed from the record after 2 years and before he stood for election.
However he was under no obligation to declare that at any stage.
Again labour will use this in their campaign against-in particular David Cameron--you know the story--Cameron should have been told--why?
Robert had no more than tried to get to the bottom of a serious situation within the school via legal routes to examine evidence and divulged that to lawyers in the case.
Sadly Robert will have to stand down from his new job--what a waste of an asset to the Govt.
Grimly You should remember the case in question--however at the time Robert was duty-bound to use the discovery system to evaluate the severity of the situation in his role as Governor. He was censured only by the Barristers self regulating body and that was removed from the record after 2 years and before he stood for election. However he was under no obligation to declare that at any stage. Again labour will use this in their campaign against-in particular David Cameron--you know the story--Cameron should have been told--why? Robert had no more than tried to get to the bottom of a serious situation within the school via legal routes to examine evidence and divulged that to lawyers in the case. Sadly Robert will have to stand down from his new job--what a waste of an asset to the Govt. messyits
  • Score: -4

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