Residents across Derbyshire will be asked how they think children’s centre services should be delivered in a review to begin this month.
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet has agreed to carry out the review in order to look at the best possible ways of effectively delivering essential services for children and families while saving £1.1m.
A report proposing the review outlined five possible options, including charging parents for using children’s centres, charging organisations for using the buildings,
reducing staffing levels , closing some centres and only offering services which are not already available elsewhere through the voluntary, community and independent sector.
Coun Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We want to hear from Derbyshire residents so we can take their views into account.
“We don’t want to make cuts to our services but the reality is that the huge reduction in our budget – which equates to cutting our spending on Derbyshire families by a third – means there’ll be a significant and detrimental impact on local people.
“As I’ve said before, we’re very sad to be in this situation and will carefully consider all our options.”
To find out more or take part in the review visit derbyshire.gov.uk/ccreview from Wednesday (14th May). The review will run for five weeks.
Derbyshire’s first children’s centre opened 14 years ago. There are now 54 centres across the county which cost £8 million a year to run.
Feedback from the review will be used for a follow-up Cabinet report in the autumn.
If any centres are earmarked for possible closure a further three-month consultation would take place before a recommendation was made to Cabinet.