Stoke-on-Trent children's centre closure fears

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Closing children's centres in Stoke-on-Trent could affect the rest of the youngsters' lives, it is claimed.

Parents spoke out a public meeting, designed to decide how the council will deliver its services.

One woman said parents were not being given the chance to improve their children's lives.

The council said it had to make £36m cuts and it could not deliver the same services as before. It has reduced funding for the centres by £2.25m.

The children's centres provide services such as playgroups, creche facilities and educational support for families.

Emma Boote, whose two-year-old daughter Bethany attends the Norton Children's Centre, said: "Parents are not going to be given chance to improve their lives, improve their children's lives and have a say in their community."

Sharon Menghini, director of children's and young people's services, said: "Clearly, when a council has a number of buildings to run and a number of services to run and then gets £36m of cuts, we can't have everything the same as it was before."

A consultation is running until 30 June with the aim to implement changes in September.

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