Wiltshire

Swindon children's centre cuts confirmed

Four of Swindon's 14 children's centres are to close after the borough council's cabinet agreed a £380,000 cut to its budget.

Services at the centres will either stop and be offered elsewhere or just offer limited services.

The council said 80% of its £2m budget for the centres would be spent in areas serving the most vulnerable families.

But Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Anne Snelgrove said the council had "made the wrong decision".

The cuts mean the Greenmeadow children's centre will close and the building will be leased to a pre-school, playgroup and for some health services.

'Increased demand'

The Saplings Centre will be "merged" with the Ladybird centre in Highworth, with children's services run from other community buildings.

The Saplings building will be leased by a pre-school and the Ladybirds centre will be leased by council departments instead.

Services at the Eldene and Croft centres will also be cut back. The services at Eldene will instead be provided by Goodard Park Centre.

David Renard, leader of the Conservative-run council, said: "Over and above everything we want to support vulnerable children and families, so we identified where all of those families are.

"We are working on the premise at the moment that we are going to have a reduced budget year on year, with increased demand in services for adults and children."

The cabinet was also set to decide on cuts to a bus service through the village of Bishopstone which is currently too costly to run, but it agreed to look at ways of saving it.

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