*IMPORTANT* Parents to have their say on future of children's centres

(1 Post)
MNBrentEd Tue 11-Nov-14 22:56:13

We have been asked to pass this on by the Brent Council.

PARENTS of 0-4 year olds in the borough are to be given the chance to have their say on how children's centres are run over the next five years, in a consultation to start next month.

Brent Council's Cabinet yesterday (November, 10) agreed to carry out a consultation among parents of children who use the centres, to ask for their views on a proposal to work in partnership with an external provider to manage twelve of Brent's children centres, as government cuts to town hall budgets continue. By 2018, Brent Council's funding from central government is expected to have been cut in half.

The council is proposing that the way in which these children's centres in the borough are managed is changed from a solely council-staffed set-up, to a partnership model where centres are run by an external organisation.

Unlike a council, such an organisation could access additional funds from sources including the National Lottery and European Union, which could then be spent on improving the quality of service at Brent's children's centres.

Cllr Ruth Moher, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

"We are absolutely committed to providing the young people of Brent with the best start in life, so rather than taking a do-nothing approach and seeing dramatic cuts from central government have an adverse affect on our children's centres, we are instead opting to look at the different ways in which these services could be protected.

"We need to be open and transparent about the challenges facing us and, while some parents may not be keen for change, doing nothing is just not an option.

"This is why we are engaging with parents on this proposal early on as we think this is the best way to secure the future of our children centres and actually maintain and improve services while making the necessary savings."

The council is of course keen to hear people's views on this, hence the consultation. The consultation will begin over the next month or so – we haven't got an exact date as to when as yet, but will be in touch with more info and the relevant web links when they are ready. The results of the consultation will then be considered at the February meeting of Brent Council's Cabinet.

Do express your views on this thread and spread the word. We will keep you updated.

Katia Smith
Brent Editor

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