Decision looms on plans to cut Bassingbourn and Melbourn children’s centres

The plans would see Melbourns centre closed and replaced with a a child and family zone, and Bassing

The plans would see Melbourns centre closed and replaced with a a child and family zone, and Bassingbourns childrens centre would be redesignated. File picture. Credit: Thinkstock - Credit: thinkstock

Proposals to cut the number of children’s centres in South Cambs as part of a county-wide redesign to save £1 million are to be decided upon at an upcoming meeting.

The plans would see Melbourn’s centre closed and replaced with ‘a child and family zone’, and Bassingbourn’s children’s centre would be redesignated.

In total, the 10 children’s centres that are currently in the district will be reduced to one‘child and family centre’ in Cambourne.

The decision to go to all members of Cambridgeshire County Council follows a consultation on the proposal, which received more than 2,000 responses from the public and organisations in the county.

All Cambs county councillors will now be able to vote on the proposals and the consultation responses on October 17.

The full council debate will now replace the previously planned presentation at the Children and Young People’s Committee on October 10.

Cambridgeshire county councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said: “We’re moving this debate to full council to ensure that councillors can hear all sides of the story from each other and from members of the public.

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“We believe in these plans and that they can help every child in Cambridgeshire to thrive by placing frontline services over buildings. However we recognise there are strong views on both sides and it is the right thing democratically to allow a full debate.”

It will also coincide with a debate on the proposals at full council, triggered by a 3,000-strong petition.

Councillors will therefore be able to hear responses from the consultation, as well as views from each other and members of the public who have requested to speak. The councillors will be able to vote on the recommendations being put forward.

Members of the public wishing to speak need to register their request at by midday on Tuesday, October 10.

Anyone who had already requested to speak at the CYP Committee will be contacted and asked if they would like their request to be considered for the meeting of council instead.

The Children’s Centre consultation response document, which will be presented at full council, will be available on Cambridgeshire County Council’s website on Monday, October 9.