Last chance to respond to possible closure of Kenilworth’s children’s centres

MHLC-04-09-17-St John's Children's Centre NNL-170509-183337009
MHLC-04-09-17-St John's Children's Centre NNL-170509-183337009

Kenilworth’s residents have not got long to respond to the possible closure of its children’s centres before 
the consultation closes on Monday (September 11).

Warwickshire County Council has had more than 1,000 responses to the consultation for reshaping services for children and families - plans which could lead to 12 of the county’s 39 children’s centres being replaced by ‘family hubs’ and the rest being closed.

Both of Kenilworth’s children’s centres would go if plans stay as they are.

And Kenilworth town councillors all spoke of their desire to retain at least one of the town’s centres at a meeting on Thursday August 31.

Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, St John’s) raised the issue initially, asking what Kenilworth’s county councillors had been doing to fight for the centres.

Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John’s), a town and county councillor, said he had visited St John’s centre twice and had been making representations on behalf of the town in Shire Hall, where the county 
council meet.

But he added: “I’m a bit of a pessimist because there was a budget, and this was not in the budget. That budget cut is going to stick.

“Somebody somewhere is going to miss out, and I’m hoping it’s not Kenilworth.”

And Dave Shilton (Con, Park Hill), another town and county councillor, said he would ‘fight like hell’ to keep at least one of the centres open.

Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) thought the county council did not take Kenilworth seriously enough.

He said: “I still have a feeling there’s a perception that Kenilworth is a town like Southam, Alcester or Atherstone. But we’re a town of 25,000 people, not including all the villages around us.”

Speaking to Cllrs Cooke and Shilton, he added: “You county councillors have got to bang the drum.”

The county council has thanked all of those who have responded to the consultation so far.

Cllr Jeff Morgan, portfolio holder for children’s services, said that in order to give officers time to fully consider all responses, the authority has decided to delay the decision by a month.

Anyone wishing to respond online to the consultation can do so here