As part of cost-saving measures six children’s centres, including East Rural Children’s Centre on Eyebury Road will be closed.
After a bid to call-in the decision, the cuts were agreed at an extraordinary council meeting at Peterborough Town Hall on the 25 February 2014. Councillors voted in favour of the cuts by 26 votes to 23, with one abstaining.
The centre was officially opened in September 2011 by Mayor of Peterborough at the time, Cllr Paula Thacker. Cllr Sheila Scott, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said at the time: “The children’s centre has been open just more than a year now and in that time it has had a positive impact on many families in the area”, “It has a busy timetable and is able to provide support to parents and parents-to-be to improve children’s life chances through better access to family support, advice on nurturing, health and early learning.”
The children’s centre offers play and learn sessions, a childminder support group, fathers’ group, baby signing classes, baby massage, toddler and baby yoga, a cook and eat group and family support sessions. Antenatal and baby clinics are also run by health professionals. The preschool and Eye Care Club, an after-school and holiday club, operates within the children’s centre.
“It has a busy timetable and is able to provide support to parents and parents-to-be to improve children’s life chances through better access to family support, advice on nurturing, health and early learning.”
Peterborough City Council were asked what the construction costs of Eye Childrens centres was “Total expenditure for construction on both Thorney Children’s Centre and Eye Children’s Centre was £911,932. The two facilities in question were tendered as one project to provide ‘value for money’, and therefore the individual contract costs are not available. However, the asset valuation for each of the buildings is currently as follows: Eye Facility: £461,502 Thorney Facility: £174,150”.
Extrapolating from the asset value we can work out that the Thorney Centre may have cost approximately £246,221 and the Eye Centre: £665,711.
With the cuts centres across the city will close and new “super centre hubs” will be established at the Honeyhill Centre, in Paston, the East Children’s Centre, the First Steps Children’s Centre and Orton’s Children’s Centre.
- 2 September 2011 Family fun day to mark the centre’s formal opening
- 5 September 2011 Eye children’s centre builds on year of operation
- 8 November 2013 Peterborough children’s centres to close in council reorganisation
- 18 November 2013 Parents’ concerns over plans to shed a number of Peterborough children’s centres
- 26 November 2013 Have your say on Peterborough children’s centre plans
- 27 November 2013 Children’s centres closure plans under fire from parents
- 5 December 2013 Bid to call-in Peterborough children’s centres’ closure plans narrowly fails
- 8 January 2014 Council urged to defer closing children’s centres in Peterborough
- 29 January 2014 Councillors to decide on delaying closure of children’s centres
- 6 February 2014 Tears and jeers as cuts to Peterborough children’s centres agreed – but parents vow they will battle to save services
- 14 February 2014 Letter: Longer-term plan on children’s centres is needed here
- 17 February 2014 Extraordinary meeting to discuss children’s centres “call-in”
- 20 February 2014 Speaker’s Corner: Was children’s centres consultation a waste of time?
- 26 February 2014 Parents to discuss cuts to Peterborough children’s centres
- 26 February 2014 Council must now ‘think again’ on closing children’s centres in Peterborough