Beaches Childrens Centre, in the George Wharton Centre, Leysdown Road, Leysdown
Parents are being urged to have their say on a Kent County Council (KCC) shake-up of children’s centres.
In July, we reported that 20 throughout the county are facing closure and, although none of Sheppey’s are at risk, two are being considered for changes to their opening hours.
Beaches, in Leysdown, and Lilypad, in Minster, are on a list of 13 which could be run on a part-time basis.
The authority hopes the cost-cutting proposals will help reduce building and management costs by around £1.5 million over the next financial year.
But Warden councillor Pat Sandle thinks it is not the right move for residents at the eastern end who, she says, desperately need the service.
“The [Beaches] building is only two years old,” she said.
“We were told KCC is trying to aim the service where it is needed – if it’s not needed at the eastern end of the Island then where is it? We are a deprived area.”
Cllr Sandle said the consultation, which was launched by KCC into the plans, points users of Beaches to other services on Sheppey, but she says many parents do not drive and it would be impossible to attend an afternoon session at another centre and make it back for the school run on public transport.
People have until Friday, October 4, to have their say and Cllr Sandle is keen to make sure they do, in the hope it can remain fully open.
“I want to urge our parents up here with young children to respond,” she added.
“They have services in affluent areas but where we need it they are cutting them.”
Woodgrove in Sittingbourne has been proposed for closure.
To have your say, visit www.kent.gov.uk/childrenscentres
Anyone who does not have access to the internet can go into Beaches, on the corner of Warden Bay Road and Leysdown Road, where there are forms to fill out.