Campaigners fighting to save Rotherham children’s centres have united under the banner Save Our SureStart, and a protest is planned for next Wednesday.
Councillors in Anston this week threw their weight behind the campaign, saying they want to save Ryton Brook Children’s Centre and plan to write a letter to Rotherham Council objecting to its closure.
Anston Parish Councillor, Judy Dalton, said: “The council will actively seek to keep Anston’s children centre open and is doing everything in its power to make that happen.”
“We intend to write to Rotherham Council expressing the fact that Anston has deprived areas and closing down the children’s centre would have a negative impact on the community.”
Rotherham Council plans to reduce the number of children’s centres in Rotherham in order to save £2.2 million, with centres in Dinnington, Kiveton, Anston, Maltby, Thurcroft and Aughton all facing the axe.
The move would leave nine remaining centres, seven of which would cover a larger area than before.
A new outreach service will provide health, social care and education to families who can not easily reach a centre, but others may be forced to fall back on the voluntary sector and independent childcare providers, the council admits.
Although children’s centres in Rotherham are open to everyone, services are mainly targeted at more than 8,500 under-fives and their families, who are considered most vulnerable.
These include teenage parents, single mums and dads, disabled parents, disabled children and ethnic minorities.
Public meetings will be held across Rotherham to discuss the future of the children’s centres. People are encouraged to share their views on how it will affect the community.
Find meeting dates at: www.rotherham.gov.uk/consultations/Childrens_Centre_consultation
Unison is holding a protest at 10am at Rotherham Town Hall on Wednesday 26th February.