Mums to protest at centre closures

Centre front, from left,  Anne Snelgrove and Wendy Cutter campaign against cuts to  Swindon's children’s centres

Centre front, from left, Anne Snelgrove and Wendy Cutter campaign against cuts to Swindon's children’s centres

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

ANGRY mums will stage a protest today against plans to close a number of children’s centres.

Last week the council announced it was starting a consultation on plans to close seven of the town’s 12 centres in a bid to save almost £800,000.

A protest has been organised for 10.30am this morning outside Jury’s Inn in Fleming Way in a bid to send a message to the council that many people are against the cuts.

One of the protest organisers, Wendy Cutter, 35, of Walcot, who attends Drove Children’s Centre with her one-year-old son James, says a lot of parents are angry about the proposals.

She said: “These centres play a really important role for everyone who uses them. It is not just the groups which they use but the other things which the children’s centres provide.

“The staff who work there are all professionally trained and so can spot things like domestic abuse or post natal depression. These can then be dealt with in a discreet way.

“If you close the services down then it will have severe repercussions.”

Although the Drove Road centre will not be affected by the changes, Wendy believes services will suffer because of increased demand.

The Croft children’s centre is set to close and users will be directed to Drove.

“The Stay And Play already fills up to capacity as there are only so many people who can fit into the room,” said Wendy.

“When you get more people, these services are going to fill up quickly. Those who have to travel further may struggle to get there on time and then miss out.”

The council is facing having to find £48m savings in the next three years.

The cabinet member for children’s services, Fionuala Foley (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn) said: “Doing nothing about it is not an option and so difficult decisions have to be made. With this move I have made sure the most vulnerable children will be protected.

“The centres in the super cluster and Parks and Walcot are ring fenced. There will be no changes there.

“There are some areas where parents will have to travel further and for that I am sorry. But while it may be inconvenient they will still have access to a centre.

“We have had to look at the areas of need and prioritise where the service is needed.”

Comments (9)

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7:11am Tue 22 Jul 14

South Stand says...

Snelgrove...........
.she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever.
Snelgrove........... .she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever. South Stand
  • Score: 8

8:10am Tue 22 Jul 14

suburbanbear says...

Looking at the picture it isn't JUST mums....
Looking at the picture it isn't JUST mums.... suburbanbear
  • Score: 5

9:15am Tue 22 Jul 14

Al Smith says...

South Stand wrote:
Snelgrove...........

.she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever.
At least she actually isn't an MP as otherwise she'd protest against the closures and then vote for them in the house of commons like a good little sheep like she did with our post offices.
[quote][p][bold]South Stand[/bold] wrote: Snelgrove........... .she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever.[/p][/quote]At least she actually isn't an MP as otherwise she'd protest against the closures and then vote for them in the house of commons like a good little sheep like she did with our post offices. Al Smith
  • Score: 6

12:49pm Tue 22 Jul 14

EVERETTP9 says...

THEY TALK OF SAVING MONEY, HAVE YOU SEEN THE PAVEMENT AT STRATTON CROSSROADS BY THE SHOPPING AREA, THEY HAVE DUG HOLES IN THE PAVEMENT AND FILLED THEM WITH LOVELY BLOCK PAVING AND FLOWER BEDS. WILL LAST ALL OF FIVE MINUTES BEFORE IT IS ALL TRASHED AND LITTERED UP. NOW THAT IS WASTING MONEY...
THEY TALK OF SAVING MONEY, HAVE YOU SEEN THE PAVEMENT AT STRATTON CROSSROADS BY THE SHOPPING AREA, THEY HAVE DUG HOLES IN THE PAVEMENT AND FILLED THEM WITH LOVELY BLOCK PAVING AND FLOWER BEDS. WILL LAST ALL OF FIVE MINUTES BEFORE IT IS ALL TRASHED AND LITTERED UP. NOW THAT IS WASTING MONEY... EVERETTP9
  • Score: 6

1:28pm Tue 22 Jul 14

FLOGGITLAD says...

is that protest board for PO closures, the kiddies ones, or is she asking for carrier bags...
is that protest board for PO closures, the kiddies ones, or is she asking for carrier bags... FLOGGITLAD
  • Score: -2

3:13pm Tue 22 Jul 14

trolley dolley says...

If I was a mum hoping to keep the centres open I would not let Anne Snel. anywhere near them.

Look what happened to the post offices.

On another note, Why are these centres so expensive, why can the people who run and work in them not find the savings required to keep them open.

It is the same sad tale of people only being able to keep things going if the hand outs keep coming in.
If I was a mum hoping to keep the centres open I would not let Anne Snel. anywhere near them. Look what happened to the post offices. On another note, Why are these centres so expensive, why can the people who run and work in them not find the savings required to keep them open. It is the same sad tale of people only being able to keep things going if the hand outs keep coming in. trolley dolley
  • Score: 5

4:08pm Tue 22 Jul 14

IanRM says...

Perhaps these angry mums and dads (especially those that voted Tory) will remember this protest at the Bprough Councillor election next year.

Remove the high paid, private consultants effectively doing what SBC Management should be doing and there would have been plenty of cash to support the contunation of Child Centres in Swindon.
Perhaps these angry mums and dads (especially those that voted Tory) will remember this protest at the Bprough Councillor election next year. Remove the high paid, private consultants effectively doing what SBC Management should be doing and there would have been plenty of cash to support the contunation of Child Centres in Swindon. IanRM
  • Score: 5

4:36pm Tue 22 Jul 14

The Jockster says...

South Stand wrote:
Snelgrove...........

.she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever.
Yep B'Anne d wagon Bertha, canvassing for votes already. What a simply odious woman Snelgrove is! Surely the electorate of South Swindon will not be hoodwinked into voting for someone who consistently ignored her constituents wishes on key issues the last time she was an MP.
[quote][p][bold]South Stand[/bold] wrote: Snelgrove........... .she does absolutely nothing for years and then, surprise surprise, just ten months from a General Election and she re-appears, pretending to be the best do-gooder ever.[/p][/quote]Yep B'Anne d wagon Bertha, canvassing for votes already. What a simply odious woman Snelgrove is! Surely the electorate of South Swindon will not be hoodwinked into voting for someone who consistently ignored her constituents wishes on key issues the last time she was an MP. The Jockster
  • Score: 6

6:29pm Tue 22 Jul 14

FLOGGITLAD says...

is she really the best labour can offer..........
is she really the best labour can offer.......... FLOGGITLAD
  • Score: 2

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