Chil­dren’s cen­tre clo­sures ap­proved

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH -

COUN­CIL chiefs are to press for­ward with plans to axe a Mac­cles­field chil­dren’s cen­tre to save money.

Cheshire East Coun­cil’s cab­i­net has rub­ber­stamped pro­pos­als to shut four of its 11 chil­dren’s cen­tres, in­clud­ing one in Bro­ken Cross, at a meet­ing yes­ter­day (Tues­day).

Coun­cil of­fi­cers say this will lead to a to­tal sav­ing of £500,000 op­er­a­tional costs, with the clo­sure of Bro­ken Cross Chil­dren’s Cen­tre sav­ing £40,000.

But Coun Nick Man­nion, who rep­re­sents Mac­cles­field West and Ivy ward, said Labour coun­cil­lors will fight the de­ci­sion, which will be de­bated at the full coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day.

He said: “Seven hun­dred and eighty peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion to keep Bro­ken Cross open. This has been ig­nored and the coun­cil and push­ing on with its orig­i­nal pro­pos­als.

“There are hints and prom­ises that ev­ery­thing will be okay, but noth­ing def­i­nite. This un­cer­tainty is caus­ing a lot of worry.”

The meet­ing at the coun­cil’s head­quar­ters in Sand­bach was pre­ceded by a march from pro­tes­tors against the plans.

Pro­tes­tors say clos­ing the ex­ist­ing cen­tres will af­fect the most vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies in the bor­ough.

They also ar­gue money is now avail­able to keep them open, as two weeks ago the govern­ment an­nounced an ex­tra £6m of fund­ing for Cheshire East over the next two years.

Mean­while, hopes that Wir­ral Com­mu­nity Health Trust could take over cer­tain ser­vices at Bro­ken Cross have been quashed. Par­ents will now have to ac­cess ser­vices at Ash­grove or Hurds­field chil­dren’s cen­tres.

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