Children’s centre in ‘limbo’ as council seeks to avoid £165k penalty

PUBLISHED: 21:00 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:35 22 September 2017

North Somerset Council faces having to give £165,000 to the Government.

North Somerset Council faces having to give £165,000 to the Government.

Archant

North Somerset Council faces having to give £165,000 to the Government if it wants a village school to be able to use one of the authority’s former children’s centre buildings.

When it moved its children’s centre service to Yatton Library, the council planned to rent out the old building.

However, because the centre based at the infant school was funded by a Government education programme, the council is only allowed to lease it to preschool providers – if not, it must pay back an estimated £164,268.

It means the infant school – which is short on space – cannot use the building, even though the village is growing.

North Somerset received no interest when it advertised an opportunity for the centre to be used from February to June for £5,000.

Parish councillor Wendy Griggs said: “Because it’s such a small centre... it’s in limbo as it’s not an economically viable business at this stage.”

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