Have your say on chil­dren’s cen­tres

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE county coun­cil has ap­pointed an in­de­pen­dent agency to help run a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on cuts to chil­dren’s cen­tres across Buck­ing­hamshire.

Over the sum­mer BMG Re­search will work with fam­i­lies and part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions to help de­sign the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion – which is ex­pected to of­fi­cially launch in Oc­to­ber this year.

The talks will run for 10 weeks and will give peo­ple the chance to have their say on how the future of the Early Help ser­vice is de­liv­ered, through sur­veys and pub­lic meet­ings.

In March Bucks County Coun­cil aban­doned plans to re­place 35 chil­dren’s cen­tres in the county with nine hubs, af­ter fam­i­lies raised con­cerns over the pro­pos­als.

At the time cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren’s ser­vices, War­ren Whyte, said the coun­cil recog­nised “strength of feel­ing” from res­i­dents, and more pub­lic meet­ings needed to take place be­fore any plans were im­ple­mented.

Res­i­dents will also be asked to take part in re­search over the sum­mer to en­sure ev­ery­one ac­cess­ing the Early Help ser­vices is fully rep­re­sented.

Cllr Whyte said: “I am very pleased that we have BMG Re­search work­ing on our be­half to pro­vide im­par­tial ex­per­tise and to talk with res­i­dents and or­gan­i­sa­tions about their views on how ser­vices will be de­vel­oped.

“We know that it can some­times be com­plex for fam­i­lies to ac­cess the support they need when they need it and we want to make sure fam­i­lies re­ceive the right support at the right time to pre­vent prob­lems from get­ting worse.

“We con­sulted you about chang­ing these ser­vices last year but recog­nised that our pro­pos­als needed to be more spe­cific, es­pe­cially with re­gard to our chil­dren’s cen­tres.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the con­sul­ta­tion visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/ear­ly­help

Cam­paign­ers have protested over cuts to chil­dren’s cen­tres

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