Derby

Derbyshire children's centres could face axe

Image caption The county council will consult in October on plans to close two children's centre

Two children's centres in Derbyshire could close after the council said they were underused and too costly to run.

The Labour-run authority says it needs to cut its annual £8m budget for the centres as part of the overall £175m cuts that need to be made by 2018.

The council said it was "disappointed to be put in this situation" but it had been left with "no choice".

Two other centres will move to new buildings and opening hours at 10 others could also be reduced.

There are 54 centres in Derbyshire which provide early education services, childcare, plus health, parenting and family support.


What are the proposed plans?

  • Ashbourne and Duffield children's centres will close
  • Castle Gresley and Langwith children's centres will move to other sites because the buildings are no longer fit for purpose
  • Opening hours will be reduced from five days each week to two at centres in Bakewell, Crich, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Wirksworth, Arkwright, Killamarsh, Tupton, Sandiacre, West Hallam, and Coton-in-the-Elms

The council initially announced plans to close seven centres in May but these were revised after a review collated the views of users and staff.

The latest proposals could make cuts of £944,000 and will be discussed by the cabinet next week.

Councillor Kevin Gillott, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We've tried our hardest to minimise the impact of these cuts we're having to make so we can keep essential services available for children, families and communities."

Image caption Eight of Derbyshire's 10 mobile library vans will be taken off the road from January

Dovedale's Labour councillor Simon Spencer said there was "no logic" with the closures.

He said: "I am concerned they aren't taking into account the geography of the county and the outreach facilities provided at the centres."

A public consultation could begin in October with a final decision being made in 2015.

In addition the council said it was to press ahead with the axing of eight mobile library vans from January.

The remaining two vehicles will reduce the number of areas they serve from 383 to 150.

Plans to scrap or reduce community transport services and bus services will also be discussed at cabinet and consultation on these cuts could take place in 2015.

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