Special meeting on future of Warwickshire children's centres being held this week

Shire Hall, where Warwickshire County Council meets
Shire Hall, where Warwickshire County Council meets

A special meeting of Warwickshire County Council on the future of the county's children's centres is being held this week.

The full council will meet on Wednesday November 29 in Shire Hall at 10am after Warwickshire's Labour Group put forward a motion for the council to use its reserves to keep all of its 39 children's centres open.

The council's Cabinet had previously voted to close 25 of the centres and replace the other 14 with 'children and family hubs' earlier this November.

The full motion from the Labour Group states: "This Council supports the ambition of ensuring all of Warwickshire’s children have the best start in life.

"To ensure there are sufficient resources to achieve this ambition, the Council agrees to amend the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/19 by the inclusion of £1.12M for Children's Centres to be met from reserves. Any change to the ongoing funding should be considered as part of the 2018/19 budget process."

At the previous meeting, the idea of using reserves was rejected by the Cabinet.

But Vicki Behm of Save Our Children's Centres said: "What is the problem with using a small fraction of the huge emergency reserves of our money which the Council has built up to keep them going for two more years? For this is an emergency.

"The Council needs to pause and think – and pressure the government for more money for our children."