DCSIMG

Threatened children’s centres set for change

C140506-1 Mid Nursery  phot kate

Chris Reseigh with two former nursery members, Liam Wilson, five, and Tiffany Bullen, four.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140506-1 SUS-140428-182914001

C140506-1 Mid Nursery phot kate Chris Reseigh with two former nursery members, Liam Wilson, five, and Tiffany Bullen, four.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140506-1 SUS-140428-182914001

Fear for the future has arisen over change for Kenilworth’s children’s centres which will be taken over by Barnardo’s.

Bids for care provision to the county’s centres were put out for tender by Warwickshire County Council as part of million pound budget cuts.

Staff from centres at Bertie Road and St John’s submitted a bid proposing a joint management structure for both centres, leaving things largely unchanged for town families.

But this bid was undercut by Barnardo Services Ltd who will begin a new care scheme from the sites in September.

Of 10 tenders across the county, the group won eight, but it is not yet clear how this care will be provided.

Cllr John Whitehouse (Lib Dem, Abbey) described the move as “quite a dramatic change” for the town.

Cllr Whitehouse, also a St John’s governor, fears that problems may now arise - especially over the integration of Bertie Road’s centre with the nursery school.

“It is going to be different and these centres have a big impact on an awful lot of families in Kenilworth,” he said.

“I am concerned as there is a fear in the town that we may end up with something which is not as good and how this will managed on sites where services are very integrated.

“I’m upset that it is not where we wanted to be and there is a lot of concern.”

The councillor initially called for centres integrated within school to be exempt from changes.

But WDC’s Chris Lewington said this was simply not an option.

“We have always been open about the financial challenge we face and have made some tough choices with the best interests of local families always at the heart of our decision making,” he said.

“We had to strike a balance between doing what is best for our children whilst working against of backdrop of reduced budgets.

“These condensed management arrangements allow us to make savings, whilst minimising impact on our ability to deliver services.”

 

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