Fears for the survival of important family services
MP deplores news that two children’s centres may be shut
THE MP for Hayes and Harlington has said he is ‘extremely saddened’ by the news that Hillingdon Council are likely to close two children’s centres in the borough.
On Tuesday getwestlondon reported that the council might be forced to close centres in Northwood and in Hayes because the landlords had declined to sign new leases.
MP John McDonnell has said the council is ‘undermining these important services.’
The two centres are expected to be closed in April 2017 and the authority is holding a public consultation, launched on Wednesday December 14 on how to provide a service for people in the affected areas.
Labour MP Mr McDonnell said: “For several years I was the chair of Hillingdon’s Early Years Partnership which, with funding from the last Labour Government developed and supported a network of children and Sure Start centres across the borough.
“I am extremely saddened to see the council closing centres and undermining these important services needed by local children and families.”
The plans will reduce the number of children’s centres in the borough from 18 to 16 as the facilities at Uxbridge College in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes and Hillside Primary School in Northwood will shut.
Hillingdon Council says landlords at the two sites have declined to agree leases but that the authority is looking for
n EARMARKED FOR CLOSURE: Children’s centres at Hillside Pr Primary School and at the Uxbridge College campus in Hayes ar are likely to shut in April Photo: Google Maps alternativesal to support residents.re
Currently the 18 centres ar are run by a number a nu number of different providers, but from April next year they will all be ru run by the council.
The council’s cabinet m member for children’s se services, Councillor David S Simmonds, said: “It is essential that we listen to feedback from parents and staff when reviewing council services.
“Families have told us that they value the family support we offer.
“Within the proposed new model, the children’s centre programme will continue to provide high quality support to
n SADDENED: MP for Hayes and Harlington John McDonnell residents whilst also paying an enhanced role in working with other agencies to develop local family support services.”
Children’s centres provide a ranger of services including child health clinics, parenting classes, adult learning classes, specialised family support, breastfeeding advice, and stay play sessions.
Each centre serves around 800 to 1,000 children in their area under the age of five.
The public consultation on the future of the services and runs until January 25.
Hillingdon Council says that the consultation will include the best ways to offer services for families in Northwood and Hayes, including access to nearby centres.
The council stressed that the closures are ‘proposed changes’, and residents can have their say on the plans.
To have your say on the plans visit http://www. hi l l i n g d o n . g ov. u k / haveyoursay