|Cllr Michael Pavey and the then Shadow Chamcellor Ed Balls and Shadow Children's Minister Sharon Hodgson in February 2013 at the launch of Labour Friends of Sure Start (FOSS)|
This is a Press Release from Brent Council and I invite comments and views from readers.
Leading children’s charity Barnardo’s will manage children’s centres across the borough as part of a new partnership model with Brent Council which will keep open the highly valued centres.
Brent Council’s Cabinet has agreed to award a four-year contract for managing the operations of 14 children’s centres to Barnardo’s, which already runs more than 170 children’s centres in the UK. Its centres aim to promote the inclusion of all children, their families and carers in a safe and nurturing environment.
Barnardo’s will work in partnership with Brent Council to manage the transfer of children’s centre staff to the charity, and the council will retain an oversight of the centres’ performance and Ofsted inspections.
The four-year contract will save Brent Council around £750,000. Brent Council has experienced significant reductions in central government funding, which contributes to running services such as children’s centres, and must save around £54million over the next two years.
The decision by the Cabinet was made after a significant consultation with parents, community groups, voluntary sector, staff and schools about the future of children’s centres in the borough.
Councillor Ruth Moher, Lead Member for Children and Young People, said:
“We are in an era of unprecedented cuts to local authority finances which means it is becoming harder than ever to protect the front-line services so prized by our residents.
“That’s why I’m pleased we have been able to agree to award a contract to Barnardo’s which will keep open these 14 children’s centres in Brent so they can continue to provide such fantastic support to many children and families.”
Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo’s in London, said:
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract and excited to start working with the many thousands of Brent families who use these 14 children’s centres.
“Barnardo’s is committed to providing the very best service to children and young people in Brent, to their parents and carers, to the council and to the dedicated staff members who will transfer over to Barnardo’s. We are working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible and are looking forward to getting started.”
The 14 children’s centres which will transfer to Barnardo’s are: Treetops, Wykeham Primary; Wembley Children’s Centre, Alperton Children’s Centre, Preston Park Children’s Centre; The Welcome Children’s Centre, Granville Plus Children’s Centre, Three Trees Children’s Centre, Hope Children’s Centre, Harmony Children’s Centre, St Raphael’s Children’s Centre; Church Lane Children’s Centre, Mount Stewart Children’s Centre; Willow Children’s Centre.
Three other children’s centres - Fawood, Curzon Crescent and Challenge House - are excluded from the partnership agreement and will continue as present.
The new model for the children’s centres will be implemented from autumn 2015.