Axe falls on Reading children’s centres

20 October 2017

Josh Williams outside the erstwhile Hamilton Road Children's Centre

Commenting on the Children's Centre Service cuts, which have now come into force, Green Party councillor Josh Williams said: "we are very concerned about the impact of these cuts to the Children's Centres Service. The number of children's centres is decreasing from 13 to 4. Hamilton Road is no longer a children’s centre. The hub for Caversham, for example, is now in Newtown miles away and on the other side of the river. Fewer families will access these vital services and unfortunately more people will become isolated and children will not get the best start in life."

Regarding the reduction of council run stay-and-play type activities, Councillor Williams said: "before these cuts, there were universally accessible stay and play activities for babies up to toddlers. Looking at the recently produced programme, there are now only council run stay-and-play activities for babies up to 12 months. This means mums and dads will unfortunately become more isolated and children aren't getting the best support possible.

"To try and improve the situation, we are helping the voluntary sector to support parents to organise activities and we are urging the council to give these groups space for free. We will keep standing up for residents and working for a more caring town."

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