Children’s centre cuts agreed meaning fewer staff and reduced hours

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 June 2018

Yatton Library's newly redecorated and refurbished building.

Yatton Library's newly redecorated and refurbished building.

Archant

No children’s centres in North Somerset will close, but cuts which will see their hours and staff reduced have been agreed.

North Somerset Council has cut £315,000 from its children’s centre and nursery budget over the next two years.

Fourteen children’s centres and three day nurseries were reviewed during consultation, and changes will be made in Yatton, Pill, Banwell and Ashcombe in Weston.

The executive voted on June 26 to approve cuts which mean Yatton and Pill’s children’s centres will be reduced with the loss of two part-time community service officer posts.

Cllr Jan Barber, executive member for children’s services, said: “Part of the exercise to balance the budget involved savings in children’s centres.

“At first we thought this would involve complete closure of one or two centres to save the £300,000 involved. Following consultation, and some adjustments, we are no longer cutting two children’s centres.

“We will still provide services, but for some centres there will be a reduction in hours. There will be opportunities to provide services via outreach.”

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer said he was worried a reduction in services could lead to fewer people using them – which could in turn provide a reason for centres to be closed down completely in the future.

He said: “There is a real danger with the staff cuts of a vicious circle with less availability, and less use until eventually one might consider a need to close them.

“I know it is a forlorn hope local authorities finances will improve, but we are trying investments to generate more income, and I hope children’s centres can be put among the highest priorities for restoration should finances improve.”

Council leader Nigel Ashton agreed children’s centres would be among its priorities should the financial situation improve.

Under the children’s centre changes, Long Ashton Children’s Centre will be remodelled, at a cost of £40,000, to enable Early Birds Nursery to provide an additional 12 places for children aged two and under.

During the consultation, some centres said they could not meet the needs of families at present and did not know how they would manage with fewer staff.

Other News Stories

The medals of a fallen World War One soldier have been returned to their rightful owners after a family member purchased them at auction.

Read more

A Backwell mother who discovered war memorabilia in her garden has been able to return them to the family of their rightful owner.

Read more
08:00

Roadworks will begin in the centre of Portishead today (Wednesday).

Read more

Children from Pill and Portishead came together to confront the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future at a festive-themed workshop based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, on Saturday.

Read more

A parish council has strongly criticised a proposed road which would see its village ‘inundated’ with traffic.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07

A Portishead pub has reopened for customers and its new publicans have promised to ‘change its reputation’.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

A rotary club has handed hundreds of pounds to the Clevedon and District Foodbank to support its work in the community.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:46

A proposal to replace a pelican crossing with a zebra crossing has sparked safety fears in Nailsea.

Read more
Yesterday, 05:58

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from November 5-14.

Read more
Mon, 13:00

Improvements to a community pool in Pill look set to take place after receiving a major cash boost.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

North Somerset Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications