Further protections for Children’s Centre services in Bath and North East Somerset have been secured by Conservative councillors.
At a B&NES Full Council meeting on Thursday 16th January, councillors approved a Conservative proposal which commits the authority to directing £500,000 of additional funding towards protecting Early Years services in all communities currently served by a Children’s Centre. The Conservative proposal also calls for extra money to be put into ‘pump priming’ funding to help voluntary groups take on a greater role in the delivery of Children’s Centre services.
During a heated Council debate, Conservatives argued that the scale of cuts currently planned by the Liberal Democrat-run Council would result in serious damage to the services provided by Children’s Centres, particularly in Midsomer Norton, Weston village, Odd Down, Peasedown, Paulton and the Chew Valley.
Conservative Shadow Spokesman for Early Years, Children and Youth, Councillor Michael Evans, said:
“The Lib Dems have finally bowed to public pressure and recently announced that they will reduce the cut to Children’s Centres by £500,000. This is a welcome step, but still leaves Council’s Early Years services facing a reduction of £1.8 million, which is still a sizeable 30% cut.
“Residents will naturally remain concerned about the Council’s plans. But Conservatives have managed to secure further protection for the services provided by Children’s Centres to all local communities throughout the area. We also want to see the Council provide additional ‘pump priming’ funding in order to support voluntary groups and other organisations in taking on a greater role in the delivery of Early Years services.”