Have your say: Consultation on the reshaping of services for children and families in Warwickshire

Warwickshire residents are invited to have their say in a county council consultation into the remodelling of its offer to children and families, which begins today (12pm 29 June).

Children are at the heart of everything Warwickshire County Council does and it wants to make sure all children in the county have the best possible start in life. It is committed to working with families, services and communities, directing people toward easy to access support based on need in order to keep all its children safe, healthy and happy.

In order to do this and meet the requirements of an incredibly challenging savings programme, it is essential that the council looks very carefully at the services that it provides to review how effective they are and seek to find innovative and more efficient ways to get results and keep people safe, healthy and independent for the future.

The council is proposing changes to how services are provided to local children and their families by remodelling its children’s centres and considering different ways to make sure families who use them get the right support for the right issues at the right time.

There are 39 children’s centres in Warwickshire, which operate in groups to offer a mix of services at location. The proposals that it is seeking parents views on are to convert 12 of these centres new family hubs. These hubs will be a place where children and families can access a range of services for (up to 25 years for children with disabilities). The family hubs would be spread throughout Warwickshire where there is the greatest identified need for family support.

It is proposed that family hubs will be located in the following areas:

  • North Warwickshire Borough: Retain Atherstone as Family Hub. Centres subject to reassessment including alternative options and potential closure: Coleshill, Kingsbury,and Polesworth
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough: Retain Camp Hill, St Michael’s, Stockingford and Abbey as Family Hubs. Centres subject to reassessment including alternative options and potential closure: Bulkington, Ladybrook, Park Lane, Rainbow, Riversley
  • Rugby Borough: Retain Boughton Leigh, Claremont and Oakfield as Family Hubs. Centres subject to reassessment including alternative options and potential closure: Cawston and Dunchurch, Hillmorton, Long Lawford, Newbold, Wolston
  • Stratford District: Retain Alcester as Family Hub. Centres subject to reassessment including alternative options and potential closure: Badger Valley (Shipston), Clopton, Lighthorne Heath, Southam, Stratford, Studley and Wellies (Wellsbourne)
  • Warwick District: Retain Lillington, Sydenham and Westgate. Centres subject to reassessment including alternative options and potential closure: Kenilworth, Kingsway, Newburgh, St Johns, Warwick, Whitnash

This does not mean that Children’s Centres that are not evolving into family hubs will immediately cease to exist, Warwickshire County Council will explore any opportunities within the local community and local providers to continue to offer services at the remaining centres. In doing this, it will have to consider the reduced resources available and the future suitability of each centre based on access, location and whether there are alternative community-based venues nearby. The aim is to help communities thrive with services which fit the needs of those living there.

Cllr Jeff Morgan, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said:

“I want to be very clear that these proposals are not about stopping services. The proposals are driven by a need to transform services. They are about Warwickshire changing the way it does things, working more closely with communities and protecting those who are in greatest need of support.

“Now is the best time to reconfigure the way we do things to give the right support, for the right issue, at the right time with flexibility to adapt the future. These proposals will ensure that Warwickshire’s offer to all its children is responsive to the needs of today and agile enough to adapt to the challenges of the future.”

To complete the questionnaire online and for further information go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ask

The consultation information is also available in alternative formats, please email familyhubs@warwickshire.gov.uk or phone 01926 742350

Public meetings will also take place across the county starting on 20 July, the dates and times will be made available the consultation website.

If you have any questions about the consultation or require more information please contact familyhubs@warwickshire.gov.uk

More information about the current arrangements for Children’s Centres are available on the Warwickshire web: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childrenscentres