Children's centre school plan

A NEW children's centre could be built at a school in Portishead, council bosses have revealed. North Somerset executive member for children and young people's services, Councillor Jeremy Blatchford, has revealed that the authority is in negotiations with

A NEW children's centre could be built at a school in Portishead, council bosses have revealed.North Somerset executive member for children and young people's services, Councillor Jeremy Blatchford, has revealed that the authority is in negotiations with school leaders in the town with a view of opening a centre at one of the schools.The move comes after the authority revealed it was pulling out of plans to include the centre - a one stop shop for children's services - at the proposed new health centre at Harbour Road.North Somerset Primary Care Trust is building the new £3million health complex at the site of the former Harbourside surgery and had initially hoped to include the centre as part of the development, due to open next year.But council officials pulled out earlier this year after claiming the location was not right and it needed to be more accessible to families.A search for a new site was launched and a meeting is due to be held this week with school governors about the plan.Councillor Blatchford would not be led on which school the authority was talking to but confirmed: "We are in active negotiations with representatives at another site in Portishead."I expect an agreement in principle about the children's centre will be reached within the next month."But it is likely the centre will be incorporated at one of the schools in the town."Some children's centre services will also be run out of the town's youth club building at Harbour Road.Cllr Blatchford added: "We looked for another site because it seemed ridiculous to have two centres so close together."We have to go where the children and families using the services are."The children's centre would be a one-stop shop for children's services and house early learning and child care teams.It would also be the base for child and family health services, parental outreach and family support services.It would also offer childminder support, education and training and be an information and advice point.A Government grant of nearly £1 million has been awarded to North Somerset Council to develop seven of the planned 10 centres across the district by March 2008.


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