Children’s services stay
THE council has stated all family services will remain at Broken Cross Children’s Centre after a shake-up.
Cheshire East has been drawing up plans to ‘de-designate’ the centre to concentrate on running mobile services instead. Bosses have insisted they are not closing the centre, as well as those in Knutsford, Sandbach and Nantwich, but campaigners have complained it’s been unclear how the centres will be run.
Now Cheshire East has announced that Wirral Community NHS Trust will lease the centre and run services alongside the council’s family team. There will be no change to the current programme of children’s activities.
The only noticeable change will be that the building will not be staffed by Cheshire East staff outside of the children centres sessions, instead the trust, which provides children’s health services for Cheshire East, will employ staff to manage front of house tasks and bookings.
It will continue to operate in partnership with Cheshire East’s children’s centre and midwifery staff to produce services, clinics and groups for local families.
Coun Liz Durham, Cabinet member for children and families, said: “Cheshire East Council is committed to ensuring that those children and families who are in greatest need receive the support they require through a modernised children’s service that delivers the right service in the right place and at the right time.
“Cheshire East has listened to people and their concerns throughout this consultation and has now briefed local elected members on the proposals.
“These proposals for revised service delivery will allow the Council to build further on its aspirations for a far more effective delivery of services.”
Maeve Kelly, of campaign group Friends of Cheshire East Children’s Sure Start Centres, said: “We do not feel Cheshire East should be using the guise of austerity to funnel money away from towns where these centres are needed to privilege those in rural areas. The council says it’s not closing the centres but they are not saying that they won’t close them tomorrow. We have a number of arguments why we believe this is a slow kill off of the centres.”
Heyes road, will continue to run services