Consultation over Swindon children's centre cuts proposal

Councillors have voted to consult on proposed funding cuts to children's centres in Swindon.

The Conservative-run local authority wants to reduce the budget by £770,000 and close seven centres.

The move has been described as appalling by the local Labour parliamentary candidate, Anne Snelgrove.

Swindon Borough Council said the consultation would run from 29 July until 3 October.

The findings from the consultation will be presented to a future cabinet meeting on 22 October.

Conservative councillor Fionuala Foley said: "I would welcome people to give their feedback in order to help re-shape the service."

The proposed cuts would see Butterflies, Ladybird, Eldene, Croft, Saltway, Robert Le Kyng, and West Swindon centres close.

They would be replaced by a consolidated "super cluster" and "multi-generational family centres" in the town centre and west Swindon, which are free of Ofsted control.

Ms Foley said centres catering to the most vulnerable children, at Penhill and Pinehurst, Moredon, Drove, Gorse Hill, the Parks and Walcot East, would remain open.

The plan comes a year after Swindon Borough Council's cabinet agreed a £380,000 cut to its children's centres budget.

Former Labour MP for South Swindon Anne Snelgrove, who was voted out in 2010, said if approved, the cuts would "affect the future of vulnerable children across Swindon for years to come".

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