Birmingham & Black Country

Plans to axe nine children's centres in Wolverhampton

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Media captionJohn Welsby, from the council, said they wanted to focus their resources on eight centres

More than half of Wolverhampton's 17 children's centres could be axed under city council plans.

The council has proposed closing nine of its centres which support families, particularly disadvantaged ones.

Its cabinet is expected to approve a three-month public consultation over the proposals on 26 February.

The council said a government grant which funded the centres had been cut by nearly a third.

The reduction was equivalent to £3.8m over the next two years, a spokesman said.

Councillors had agreed not to pass on "the full extent of the cuts" to children's services, but are slashing £1.5m a year from the service, a 23% budget cut.

'Minimise impact'

The centres provide activities and services, including baby clinics, parenting classes and play sessions.

Under the proposals, centres would be retained in eight designated areas and these would "act as a focus for early year's children and family support services".

John Welsby, assistant director for children, young people and families, said: "We are determined to minimise the impact that this will have by continuing to provide the help and support that young children and their families in Wolverhampton need."

The Labour-run council announced on Tuesday it would make £17m of cuts in its 2013-2014 budget.

The council says it needs to cut almost £68m over five years and will be reviewing youth services, street cleaning and council premises.

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