‘Sing and sign’ and ‘cook and eat’ parenting classes in Chessington next in the firing line for council cuts

Surrey Comet: ‘Sing and sign’ and ‘cook and eat’ parenting classes next in the firing line for council cuts ‘Sing and sign’ and ‘cook and eat’ parenting classes next in the firing line for council cuts

A children’s centre could see activities such as play and rhyme times being cut due to lack of council funding.

West Chessington Children’s Centre which is based in Lovelace School in Mansfield Road, has launched a consultation on changes to reduce activities.

They include classes in sing and sign, cook and eat, baby massage and other parenting programmes.

If the cuts go ahead, they will take effect by September.

The consultation says: "Changes are necessary to make cost savings and enable Lovelace Primary to develop additional services using the building.

“We need to make considerable savings in the face of reduced Government funding and some serious financial challenges over the coming years.

“This change will help us to achieve these savings in a way we believe is least disruptive to the children and families who use West Chessington Children’s Centre.”

But Liberal Democrat councillor Margaret Thompson, shadow lead member for children, youth and adult learning, said: "I hope they retain the core functions such as stay and play because they are the things that parents most value.

“If there are other services that parents want then they need to be retained. That is why the consultation is so important - to find out what they want."

The consultation proposes that although some of the activities will still take place at the centre, they will be delivered by staff from neighbouring centres.

Lovelace Primary School will also be able to use the building for a breakfast and after school club as well as for holiday provision.

Last week Chancellor George Osborne visited Chessington and told the Surrey Comet the key to more money for councils to spend on local services was to bring in more businesses.

The consultation survey is available online until July 18 at surveymonkey.com/s/LS7DZ7T.

What do you think? Call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6321 or email ndewji@london.newsquest.co.uk

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