A public consultation on controversial plans to shut a raft of children’s centres in Derbyshire has launched today.
Derbyshire County Council (DCC) is carrying out a review on cost-cutting proposals to close seven unidentified centres to save £1.1million.
In addition the review is to consider plans to start charging parents to use children’s centres and possible job cuts.
DCC is having to make a number of tough decisions in a bid to slash £157m from its budget over the next four years because of Government cuts.
Councillor Kevin Gillott, DCC’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We’re very sad to be in this situation and want to hear from Derbyshire residents so their views can be taken into account.
“We don’t want to make cuts to our services but the reality is that the huge reduction in our budget − which equates to cutting our spending on Derbyshire families by a third − means there’ll be a significant and detrimental impact on local people.
“We’ll consider all our options very carefully.”
Children’s centres were set up 14 years ago to provide a number of services including education for under-fives and health and jobs advice for parents.
There are 54 of the centres across Derbyshire based in Chesterfield, Bolsover, NE Derbyshire and the Amber Valley. They cost £8m-a-year to run.
The consultation will end on June 17.
To find out more and to take part in the review, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ccreview