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MP Jeremy Browne joins bid to save Wiveliscombe Children's Centre
Mr Browne met with Cllrs Eddie Gaines and Steve Ross, who are fighting to save the centre, to sign the petition and described the plans as “short-sighted.”
He said: “I first visited Wiveliscombe Children’s Centre when it originally opened.
“It is a high-value, purpose-built facility for local children and their parents. It is also perfectly located next to the new medical centre.
“It is so dispiriting to discover that Somerset Conservatives are wanting to pull the plug on the centre. It is a terribly short-sighted decision.”
As reported by the County Gazette, council bosses propose axing 18 children’s centres across the county.
A final decision on the plans has been delayed twice to allow for “further consultation” to take place and it is not yet known when a definitive answer will be given.
An online and paper petition to save the facility in Wiveliscombe has now attracted more than 700 signatures.
Mr Browne added: “Of course budgets are tight, but that needs smart thinking on how to achieve greater efficiency and value for money.
“We only had the county council elections back in May and I do not remember the Conservatives ever admitting before the vote that they planned to close children’s centres across Somerset.
“They need to reassess their priorities and think again.”
Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for children and families at the county council, said, in terms of individual centres, they will be revising plans and carrying out talks with people affected before any changes.
She added: “Until this has happened, I cannot speculate on what the outcome will be. But we can reassure families that every community that currently has Children’s Centre activities will continue to have them – either provided from the building they are used to using or elsewhere in the community.”
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