Children’s centres face closure threat

Five children’s centres could be closed in Northumberland, but their services will continue.

Consultation is under way to deliver the family services from other venues in Pegswood, Lynemouth, Ponteland, Choppington and Cramlington East after it was found the existing facilities were constantly under-used.

Services could instead be provided from other community venues, while the centres could be handed over for other uses, such as youth or play groups.

Consultation about the plan is now under way with parents, relatives and carers who use the centres.

Northumberland County Council Policy Board Member for Children’s Services Robert Arckless said: “The service offers families with children under five a friendly place to go to get information and support on health, parenting, work and childcare, while providing a place where children can play and socialise.

“I think it is really important to stress that the council is still fully committed to providing children’s centre services in each of these communities. The proposals are about the buildings they will be provided from.”

A consultation questionnaire is available on the council’s website, at children’s centres, or by calling 0800 023444 or 01670 624889.