Ile Valley Children's Centre talks start

Chard & Ilminster News: Cllr Frances Nicholson. Cllr Frances Nicholson.

TALKS over the future of Ile Valley Children’s Centre in Ilminster will be held next week.

Somerset County Council officers have so far met families and parents from 11 of the 18 centres set to be ‘de-designated’ or stripped of their children’s centre title as part of a re-structure of services at the county’s 41 centres.

Ashlands Children’s Centre in Crewkerne is one of the centres which have hosted meetings so far with talks set to take place at Ile Valley on Thursday, March 27, from 6pm to 7.30pm and Friday, March 28, from 10am to 11.30am.

A date for consultations at Chard Children’s Centre is yet to be announced.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The proposals for the centres will mean people will continue to get at least the same support they get now from the same buildings – if anything that support will increase.

“I hope these meetings lay to rest any concerns people may have had locally about the services they, like the council, value so highly.”

The county council said the response from parents, families and child care providers at the meetings had been positive.

A spokesman said: “It has been a great opportunity to reassure everyone that there were no plans to close any children’s centres, and we’ll continue to provide help and support for families from these centres and other places in the community.

“People have taken the opportunity to comment on the services that have been provided and seek reassurance that important support will continue to be available.

“We’ve also been asking about what extra services people might like to see in their communities as the council works on improving what’s on offer for families.

“In all of these cases no significant change has been proposed – current services would continue to be available in the same buildings.”

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