Peterborough children's play centres face closure

Parents have hit out at plans to close seven play centres in Peterborough as part of the city council's bid to cut £17m from its budget.

The after school centres are used by five to 13-year olds.

Mandy Rennie, a mother of eight, said the proposal, which would save £110,000 a year, would be "devastating".

A council spokesman said it was the only authority in the east to offer free staffed centres and there were "lots of options out there".

David Seaton, cabinet member for resources, said the government grant received by Peterborough City Council had fallen by a third.

'Vulnerable areas'

Mr Seaton said he was "keeping an open mind" but if the plan was rejected "we have to find the money from elsewhere".

Mrs Rennie, whose children attend Croft Corner in Bretton, said: "The children would be devastated because they wouldn't be able to socialise properly with their friends, because of the dispersal order [in Bretton]."

Bretton parish councillor Pat Nash said the area had already seen a large number of cutbacks and described the proposal as "ludicrous".

Jo Woodhams's children attended the Charteris centre in Welland and now uses the centre for a youth group.

"The centres are placed in extremely vulnerable areas and we're forcing children out onto the street," she said.

The centres under threat are Crofts Corner in Bretton, the Tunnel in Orton Malborne, Charteris in Welland, Chestnuts in Eastfield, the Spinney in Ravensthorpe, Thistle Drive in Stanground and the Peterborough Adventure Playcentre in Paston.

A consultation on the proposal runs until 5 March.

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