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‘No plans’ to review work of children’s centre, county leaders insist

todayNovember 10, 2021 8

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County council chiefs have sought to play down fears that the future of one of West Norfolk’s two remaining children’s centres could be at risk.

The site in South Lynn was one of only 15 across the county that remained open following a major shake-up of the programme two years ago.

Many of the 38 which did shut were taken over by other organisations including schools, nurseries and day centres.

St Michael's C.E. Primary school and Nar Childrens' Centre in South Lynn.. (52968850)
St Michael’s C.E. Primary school and Nar Childrens’ Centre in South Lynn.. (52968850)

But questions were raised following the publication of papers presented to the authority’s latest cabinet meeting on Monday.

They included a reference to a building assets strategy intended “to deliver savings from reduced spend on leases and associated revenue costs”.

The paper continued: “This proposal is focussed on a review of current Children’s Services occupied buildings, to reduce usage or release space that is no longer required.”

That prompted the Clenchwarton and Lynn South councillor, Alexandra Kemp, to ask: “Can the Administration confirm it will safeguard South Lynn Children’s Centre.”

In a written response, John Fisher, the authority’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This site is and remains an ECFS base, with services delivered by our partner Action for Children.

“There are no plans to review or change this activity or operating bases across the County.

“There are a number of minor technical issues to work through on the existing lease, but all partners are seeking to resolve these and they do not affect the ongoing occupation and delivery of the service.”

During the meeting, Miss Kemp also called for more to be done to target youth services towards particularly deprived areas of the county.

Mr Fisher said he would hold further discussions with her on the issue, but said additional investment was already being made into youth services.

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