Clo­sure of chil­dren’s cen­tres is a pos­si­bil­ity

Re­view to look at mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties more ef­fi­cient and tar­geted

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A re­view into the way the Fam­i­lies Sup­port Ser­vice is run will be look­ing at new ways of mak­ing the cen­tres more ef­fi­cient and tar­geted for those fam­i­lies that re­ally need them, in light of the bud­get Bucks ap­proved in Fe­bru­ary.

It will fo­cus on the role of the 35 chil­dren’s cen­tres across the county and the ser­vices they pro­vide.

They will also look at how so­cial care im­pacts upon chil­dren’s de­vel­op­ment with the hope that fam­i­lies avoid the need for so­cial care in the fu­ture.

Cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion and skills, Zahir Mo­hammed said he was look­ing for a model that saved money and tar­geted the peo­ple that would re­ally ben­e­fit from the sup­port they pro­vide.

He said: “Our chil­dren’s cen­tres are ex­tremely pop­u­lar in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties but it’s my job to make sure that they de­liver ser­vices that are fo­cussed on those chil­dren and fam­i­lies who re­ally need help.

“We face dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions, but if we don’t pro­vide a more tar­geted ser­vice, we won’t achieve the sav­ings we need to make - this is the re­al­ity of the dif­fi­cult bud­get de­ci­sions the coun­cil had to make back in Fe­bru­ary. A do-noth­ing ap­proach is not an op­tion.”

He added: “At this early stage I can’t rule out op­tions which might in­clude pos­si­ble clo­sures in some ar­eas, how­ever I will en­sure we ex­plore all the dif­fer­ent ways that they could con­tinue go­ing for­ward.”

The re­view will in­clude look­ing at vari­a­tions in need across the county and how these could be bet­ter met, good prac­tice na­tion­ally and glob­ally, how build­ings could be bet­ter used and how sav­ings and more in­come could be made. The re­view will also take ac­count of the views of users and pro­fes­sional providers.

An ini­tial re­view re­port is ex­pected later in the year. MORE than 250 guests were at the open­ing of a new re­tire­ment vil­lage in Chal­font St Peter.

Dig­nataries, in­clud­ing Ch­eryl Gil­lan MP, Linda Smith chair­man of the par­ish coun­cil, and Mimi Harker OBE, chair­man of Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil, watched as Aud­ley Chal­font Dene, the 13th vil­lage in the Aud­ley port­fo­lio, was re­vealed.

Baroness Sally Green­gross OBE, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the In­ter­na­tional Longevity Cen­tre UK, said: “It was a plea­sure to of­fi­cially open the new Aud­ley Vil­lage at Chal­font St Peter with the team on such a fan­tas­tic day.

“The vil­lage, beau­ti­ful in its quin­tes­sen­tial Chilterns style, is cer­tainly a de­sir­able lo­ca­tion for those look­ing to main­tain high qual­ity of life in re­tire­ment.”

Nick San­der­son, CEO Aud­ley Re­tire­ment, said: “We are im­mensely proud to open Aud­ley Chal­font Dene to a new gen­er­a­tion of own­ers and the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity of Chal­font St Peter. For the team in­volved this has been a very ex­cit­ing project.

“Chal­font Dene is sur­rounded by in­cred­i­ble coun­try­side, and yet is the very first Aud­ley vil­lage to be on a tube line.”

Con­tact info@au­d­leyre­tire­ or call 01494 258 888 for more in­for­ma­tion.

The in­te­ri­ors and ex­te­rior of Aud­ley Chal­font Dene have been fin­ished to a high qual­ity

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