Swindon Council merges children's services locations

Services for children, young people and families in Swindon are being brought together into four locations.

The service had previously been spread across 40 sites in the town.

The council said the new Locality Centres would make services "quicker, more effective and more efficient" for users.

But staff warned that some parents and young people would find it difficult to travel the increased distances to the new centres.

The change comes as a result of a £2m grant from the Department of Education and a need for the council to make savings.

'Share expertise'

The four Locality Centres will bring together teams from Swindon Borough Council, NHS Swindon and Wiltshire Police.

Two new centres have been created at Reuben George in Cavendish Square and The Meadow in Penhill.

Two existing buildings at Greendown School and Palm Tree Lodge in The Limes, Upper Stratton, will be upgraded and open by mid September.

Councillor David Renard, cabinet member for children's services, said: "The benefits are across the board. Families will find it better because they've got all of the support and the professionals all in one place.

"The professionals will find it an improved working environment where they can share their expertise with their colleagues but the tax payer will also benefit because there will be lower costs."

Charlie Hampshire, who works at one of the new hubs at Reuben George in Cavendish Square, said the change in location could be a problem for some families.

"For the families that are based in this area, in the Parks and Walcot area, it's brilliant for them," he said.

"But we do have other families that are based over in west Swindon or the town centre and it means that they have to get two buses to come and visit us."

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