10 of Basingstoke’s Children’s centres will close – only 1 will remain open!!

Thank you very much to everyone who responded to the Hampshire Children’s centre closure consultation. There were 2,124 responses to the consultation, which is a fantastic volume!

However, I wonder what the point of the consultation was, when it’s obvious that the decision was made well before the consultation was even opened earlier this year!!!

This is the final explanation from the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans and it’s well worth a read:

County Council to develop new service for vulnerable families

The following statement taken from this page worries me considerably:

“Councillor Mans added: “The new integrated Family Support Service will come in at a time when the number of health visitors in Hampshire has significantly increased, and when working parents of three and four year olds will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare with a nursery, pre-school or a registered early years education childminder.””

I’m extremely disappointed with Hampshire County Council for this decision and I know I’m not alone!

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The closure of Basingstoke Children’s Centres

(It is imperative that you complete the survey below by May 3rd, to share your opinion with the council on whether 10 out of the 11 Children’s centres in Basingstoke should close!!!)

I am shocked and appalled that yet ANOTHER decision (see Friday’s post) has been made that will negatively affect local families, especially Mum’s and children.

After Friday’s post, this is just another kick in the teeth for local families.

I used the children’s centres on a number of occasions during the first 4 years of Miss NHM’s life and I dread to think of the impact this could have on many Mum’s and children who don’t have access to these wonderful facilities in the future.

The closure of Basingstoke Children Centres

“Hampshire County Council is asking for the views of service users, other stakeholders and members of the public, on a proposed new Family Support Service for families with children aged 0–19 years (or up to age 25 for young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities).

This would involve the development of a single service which would bring together the work of children’s centres, Early Help Hubs (including Youth Support Services) and align with the Supporting Troubled Families Programme to provide a joined-up, whole-family service to those who have high levels of need but do not meet the threshold for statutory social care

Activities which are currently available on a universal basis, such as: Rhyme Time; Stories and Songs; Stay, Play and Learn Together; Chatty Children;  Explore through Play; Baby Explorers; Dad’s Club; Messy Play; Cook and Eat; Cooking for Baby; and Baby Massage would no longer being available for free to all families and therefore, would incur a charge (of up to £9 per session). These activities may be delivered from the Family Support Service Hubs or other outreach venues.”

You can have your say on the proposals at the following link: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services-consultation

The consultation will close at midday on 3rd May 2016.

Consultation on April 19th at Popley Fields Community Centre

A consultation on the proposed closures will be held in Basingstoke on April 19 from 1pm to 3pm, at Popley Fields Community Centre.

This is open to everyone and if you can make it, it will be great to have a large support in favour of keeping the children’s centres open.

The closure of Basingstoke Children’s Centres

I remain politically neutral on NorthHantsMum and do not want to be affiliated to any political party, not least because I’ve had a run in with Cllr Paul Harvey and his henchmen before and was VERY unimpressed.

However, I think the information below is very important to share so that you can directly contact your representatives if you want to complain about their decision:

  • “It was truly shocking tonight at Full Council. Basingstoke Tory Councillors voted to close 11 Children’s Centres throughout our Borough.
  • If you use the Bunnies Children’s Centre in Hatch Warren your local Tory councillors, Terri Reid, Rebecca Bean and Dan Putty voted to close it.
  • If you use the Lily Pads in Chineham your local Tory Councillors Elaine Still, Joyce Bowyer and Paul Miller voted to close it. Elaine Still is also a Tory County Councillor who said we have too many Children’s Centres.
  • If you use Buttercups in Brighton Hill your local Tory Councillor Hannah Golding voted to close it, Mark Taylor and Pam Lonie your local Labour Councillors voted to say no to the County Cuts.
  • Labour Councillors representing Pebbles, Octopus, Snowdrops, Westside, and the Honeycomb in Buckskin all voted to save these Children’s Centres.
  • Tories in Tadley, Bishops Green and Basing voted to close their Children’s Centres – Courtyard, Badgers and Hometree.
  • One Tory, Laura Edwards a Tory Councillor for Winklebury, even said ‘these cuts are not ideal’ – to describe the cuts as not ideal, and then vote to close our Children’s Centres beggars belief.

If you have any more information on the closure of the children’s centres, please email me directly at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com. Thank you.

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