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Loughton councillor Leon Girling is against plans to close children's centres
2:08pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
Other ways of saving money should be looked at before children’s centres are cut, it is claimed.
Essex County Council is planning to shut one centre in Epping Forest and reduce the opening hours of three others at it looks to cut costs due to a reduction in government funding.
Little Buddies Children’s Centre in Victoria Road, Buckhurst Hill, is set to close and services relocated to the Sunrise Children’s Centre in Alderton Hall Lane, Loughton, which is two miles away.
Three centres will have their opening hours cut from 50 hours a week to 15.
These are Abbeywood Children’s Centre in Waltham Abbey Library, Sun Street, Little Oaks Children’s Centre in Torrington Drive, Loughton, and Little Star Children’s Centre at Shelly Primary School in Milton Crescent, Chipping Ongar.
Leon Girling, councillor for Loughton Broadway, insists the county council should reconsider.
He said: “The council could save money elsewhere. The cost when they undergo rebranding is huge with the hiring of consultants and rebranding of stationary.
“They could also save money if they addressed the issue of street lights being on in the middle of the day as well as doing a more thorough job of repairing potholes.”
“Parents will have to carry all their kit with them and their children and go by car or bus.
“Bus services are not always regular. Some places can be a nightmare to get to.”
“The centres are very helpful for parents because you can build up a very strong relationship with staff.”
Cllr Girling is now in the process of contacting schools, nurseries and religious groups in Loughton to ensure all residents in the area are made aware of the consultation and are able to have their say.
The Guardian is awaiting comment from Spurgeons, the company responsible for delivering the services.
The consultation is underway and finishes on December 5.
The consultation document can be found here
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