Have your say on the proposed changes to children’s centres!
Article from Luton Council below:
The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the funding available for council services.
By law we must produce and deliver a balanced budget and to support this we have to achieve £3.2million of savings across our children’s services.
To ensure we minimise the impact on those services we are legally obliged to deliver, we are proposing to bring together four of our non-statutory children’s services: Flying Start Children’s Centres, Early Help, Fresh Start and Manor Contact Centre into one integrated family resource service. Our aim is to refocus the work these services do to ensure we help those families who need our support the most.
The family resource service aims to deliver a range of different types of support based on need across two hubs and two outreach bases. The proposal is for practitioners to develop close working relationships with nurseries, schools and other key services to deliver targeted and structured interventions to the most vulnerable children and families in five neighbourhood areas. The support will be offered either directly working with a family or individual on a one to one basis within their home or at one of the hubs or through group sessions.
This means we will no longer be providing any children’s centre services from premises in the following locations:
- Flying Start Central Children’s Centre: (Denbigh, Stopsley Baptist Church)
- Flying Start North Children’s Centre: (Limbury, Redgrave CYP, Gill Blowers Nursery Leabank)
- Flying Start South Children’s Centre: (Park Town, Whipperley, The Mall)
- Flying Start West Children’s Centre ( Dallow, Pastures Way Nursery, Foxdell, Beechwood, Mossdale Court, Leagrave, Chaul End Community Centre)
The universal services such as ‘stay and play’ that everyone can use currently being delivered by the children’s centres would gradually be reduced starting from February 2021 and would cease from 30 April 2021.
The council has launched a consultation asking parents, staff and members of the public for their feedback on the proposed changes. The consultation will run until 20 September.
Councillor Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder with responsibility for children’s services said: “It is with a very heavy heart that we are being forced to make such tough decisions but with very limited finances we must ensure that the money we spend and the resources available are used in the most effective way.
“Our proposal will allow us to continue to help the most vulnerable children, young people and families within our communities who are facing the most complex and significant challenges. However we want to hear your views on how our proposals would affect you accessing the support you need. Your feedback is very important to us and will help us shape the new service, so please do complete a survey.
“Working with our partners, such as the NHS, community health services, schools, nurseries and within the community and voluntary sector we will explore how we could join up our proposed new service with the support they offer to vulnerable families.”
For more details about the proposal or to have your say by completing an online survey visit www.engage.luton.gov.uk or you can request a paper copy by emailing PeopleDirectorateSupportUnit@luton.gov.uk or call 01582 546939.
Please return your completed questionnaire (no stamp is required) to
Freepost LUTON BOROUGH COUNCIL, IFRS consultation before 20 September 2020.
As part of the consultation two virtual events have been organised via Zoom on Thursday 13 August at 1pm and 6.30pm. If you would like to attend please email PeopleDirectorateSupportUnit@luton.gov.uk or call 01582 546939.