Children's centre cash axed by new executive

RESIDENTS in Congresbury have been 'let down again' after funding for a children's centre was axed by North Somerset Council. Green Party district

RESIDENTS in Congresbury have been 'let down again' after funding for a children's centre was axed by North Somerset Council.Green Party district councillor Tom Leimdorfer, the village's representative at Weston Town Hall, has told of his shock and dismay at the decision taken by the executive which is dominated by Conservative councillors after May's local elections. The new children's centre off the A370 was to be coupled with a youth centre at a cost of £400,000. But Tories chose to axe £150,000 of support for a children's centre, at a meeting on Monday, according to Cllr Leimdorfer, who also mentioned that the future of the youth club is now unclear.He said: "They are suspicious of Government funding so they want to minimise the cost to the council further down the line to avoid paying for staff and maintenance."The new centre in the village was part of a Government strategy to enhance young people's opportunities by providing facilities for children and families. Cllr Leimdorfer said: "The new centre in Yatton will be much more difficult to access as it is now supposed to serve Congresbury and Wrington, but it is just a small extension to the children's school."The For All Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville estate and Ashcombe Children's Centre, in Earlham Grove, Weston, were part of the first phase of a total of 11 children's centres originally planned across the district.Congresbury's centre was meant to be part of phase two development but has now been cancelled. Centres in Banwell, Yatton and one serving Milton and Worle are still due to go ahead, according to Cllr Leimdorfer. North Somerset's executive member for children and young people's services, Cllr Jeremy Blatchford said: "Cllr Leimdorfer is portraying a largely false picture of the children's centres. "Being a noble and just cause does not excuse waste of resources or solutions which owe more to politics than good public service. "Congresbury will be supported initially by a facility in Yatton. We are examining another option for the village which will support our policy of developing communities. "This will take a little longer but again, if we can negotiate the deal, provide a far better service for families and children.

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