COUNTY councillors will take an extra month to consider the public’s views on the proposal to close up to 27 of Warwickshire’s 39 children’s centres.
Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) cabinet will now discuss responses to a public consultation at a meeting on November 9.
WCC children’s services spokesman Coun Jeff Morgan said more time was needed for a ‘full and careful analysis’ of public opinion.
He added: “We would like to thank everyone who has given their views so far as part of the Children’s Centres consultation. Every response received is valuable and will help inform our decision.
“The council is committed to giving children the best start in life by working with families, services and communities to keep children safe, healthy and happy.
“The proposed changes to Children’s Centres consider different ways to make sure families who use them get the right support for the right issue at the right time.”
A spokesman added the consultation had generated ‘a significant number’ of responses, and anticipated more in the final days before it closes on Monday (September 11).
The council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee – originally due to consider the matter on September 26 – will also delay its discussion until an as-yet-undecided date in October.
The centres, which offer help and advice to parents and prospective parents, are facing cuts of £1.1million to help make up for the £67million drop in WCC’s government funding.
WCC proposes to turn at least 12 children’s centres into ‘family hubs’ – with the rest to be either used as outreach sites, or no longer funded by the council.
The hubs will provide children and families with a range of services, while remaining centres will be ‘subject to reassessment, including alternative options and potential closure’.
In Stratford district, Alcester children’s centre would be converted into a hub, while centres in Badger Valley, Clopton, Lighthorne Heath, Southam, Stratford, Studley and Wellesbourne could be closed.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/familyhubsconsultation to take part in the consultation, which closes on Monday (September 11).
A previous article mistakenly stated the public consultation had been extended by a month.