Wednesday 12th July, 2017

Statement on Children's Centre consulation

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The following statement has been prepared and issued by Romsey Mill, in response to the County Council’s decision to consult on the future of Children’s Centre services in Cambridgeshire. 

Statement about the consultation on Children’s Centre services from Neil Perry, CEO with Romsey Mill Trust:

“At a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children’s and Young People Committee on Tuesday 11th July, Council Members approved (by a majority vote) a consultation document on the future of Children’s Centre services.

Romsey Mill Trust is disappointed – and alarmed - that this document contains no needs assessment, financial information or explanation of service delivery on the proposals being recommended. It is our understanding that this additional information will be released at the commencement of the public consultation on 17th July.

Romsey Mill Trust is currently contracted to manage and deliver Children’s Centre services to families from Romsey Mill Centre, Hemingford Road and in Cherry Hinton from Bewick Bridge Community Primary School. We are very surprised that the report to Councillors advised that there was “insufficient need” for the delivery of any existing Children’s Centre services from these buildings.

Our experience of working to support thousands of local children and families each year, including some of the most isolated and vulnerable in our communities, shows that there is actually a very real need in this area of Cambridge. We also think that Romsey Mill is effective in the care and support we provide.

The assessment that there is “insufficient need” for provision at other named centres across the county also requires thorough investigation.

We are preparing our response to the consultation on behalf of Romsey Mill Trust. We will also be encouraging families, partner organisations and members of the public to participate fully in the process, whilst recognising that the timing of this public consultation over the summer may make it more difficult for some families to engage.

The proposed closure of Children’s Centre services, recommended in the consultation document, represents a significant part of our overall work as a charity. Romsey Mill delivers a wide range of additional activities and services with young people, children and families that are not directly related to our Children’s Centre work. Even so, it is possible that these others aspects of our work may be detrimentally impacted by the potential closure of the Children’s Centre services that Romsey Mill Trust currently provides.”

 

Please direct any questions or enquiries about this statement to Neil Thompson (Fundraising & Communications Manager) on: neil.thompson@romseymill.org / 01223 213162.

 

Dated: 12th July 2017