Closure fails to halt mums’ bid

Mums who attend Layton Children's Centre on Grenfell Avenue are angry about plans to close the centre as part of council cost-saving measures

Mums who attend Layton Children's Centre on Grenfell Avenue are angry about plans to close the centre as part of council cost-saving measures

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ANGRY mums say they will continue to fight despite a decision to close their children’s centres.

The doors will close on Sure Start centres in Layton and Highfield as Blackpool Council try to claw back £500,000 in funding.

Consultation meetings between parents and the council were held last week but yesterday it was confirmed the groups will close at the end of March.

Elizabeth Metcalf, 25, of Whittaker Avenue, who campaigned against the closure of the Layton Centre near her home said she was disgusted with the council’s decision.

She said; “I think the decision had already been made weeks before we were even made aware of the situation.

“I really thought we could make a difference and convince the council to change their mind.

“It is disgusting, it will affect so many people, the workers, the parents and the children who use the centre.

“We are now going to hold a meeting in April to discuss whether it would be feasible for parents to run the centre themselves.”

The closures are part of £27m cost savings which need to be made by the council.

Town Hall bosses say community groups can still use the buildings if they want to set up their own groups.

Karen Crooks, 29, of Bispham Road, Layton, said she was shocked by the ‘heartless’ decision.

She said: “Although things didn’t look good at the consultation last week I am surprised by the final decision.

“We are losing an extremely important facility, more important than the council realise.

“We will try to set up our own group but we are relying on the council to keep the building and the equipment.”

David Lund, director for adults and children’s services said the council was in discussion with family support charity Homestart who are interested in taking responsibility for the Layton building.

He said: “Many parents value a place to go to meet people which reduced isolation and depression.

“Therefore we have asked Homestart to look at ways in which they can help.”

Mr Lund said the council would also work with the Highfield Community Centre to support the extended use of the building for family and community activities.

He added: “Parents are welcome to attend other centres in their area.”