Children’s centre services and opening hours reduced in cost-cutting measures

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 June 2018

Banwell Community Centre and Children's Centre.

Banwell Community Centre and Children's Centre.


Children’s centres will be among the ‘priority’ services to get their funding back if the financial situation ever improves, North Somerset Council’s leader has said.

The authority agreed to cut £315,000 from its children’s centres budget over the next two years in cost-saving measures.

It had expected to close one or two centres, but intervention by Banwell Parish Council has meant its site, serving Banwell, Sandford and Winscombe, will stay open.

The executive voted on Tuesday to approve cuts to services in Yatton, Ashcombe in Weston-super-Mare, Pill, and Banwell, reducing staff numbers and also opening hours.

There will also be changes to Ashcombe Nursery and Little Waves in Weston.

Cllr Jan Barber, executive member for children’s services, said: “Part of the exercise to balance the budget involved savings in children’s centres.

“At first we thought this would involve complete closure of one or two centres to save the £300,000 involved.

“Following consultation, and some adjustments, we are no longer cutting two children’s centres.

“We will still provide services, but for some centres there will be a reduction in hours.

“There will be opportunities to provide services via outreach.”

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer said he was worried a reduction in services could lead to fewer people using them – which could in turn provide a reason for centres to be closed down completely in the future.

He said: “There is a real danger with the staff cuts of a vicious circle with less availability, and less use until eventually one might consider a need to close them.

“I know it is a forlorn hope local authorities finances will improve, but we are trying investments to generate more income, and I hope children’s centres can be put among the highest priorities for restoration should finances improve.”

Council leader Nigel Ashton agreed children’s centres would be among the authority’s priorities should the financial situation improve.

Under the children’s centre changes, Long Ashton Children’s Centre will be remodelled, at a cost of £40,000, to enable Early Birds Nursery to provide an additional 12 places for children aged two and under.

More from Weston Mercury

A Weston mother has been sentenced to seven years in prison after launching a brutal attack on her own baby.

Read more

Hornets’ poor league form continued with a heavy defeat at the hands of St Ives.

Read more

Weston narrowly lost to Drybrook in testing conditions, with the visitor’s two conversions being the difference.

Read more

Winscombe defeated fellow league strugglers Saltash and managed to come out narrow victors to ease their relegation fears.

Read more

Cheddar head Division One of the Toolstation Western League after a battling victory at Longwell Green.

Read more

Yatton and Cleeve United were comfortable beaten by Minehead in this league encounter.

Read more

Wrington Redhill A team extended their unbeaten run with this convincing victory over AFC Nailsea.

Read more

A popular pub and live music venue is up for sale as the landlord prepares to retire.

Read more

A new scheme to improve the night-time experience for people in Weston has been launched.

Read more

A Christmas tree seller from Rooksbridge has put up a memory tree to support Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists