Children's centres and youth service cut by £1.7 million in budgetBy Jon Nurse
February 25, 2013
Children's centres and the borough’s youth service are the biggest losers in the budget as £1.7 million must be saved over the next three years.
A review of the services is expected to be approved by the borough council’s decision-making executive tomorrow in a shake-up to slice £6 million from Wokingham Borough Council’s budget.
Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services, said: “We have got to be more focused. The key theme is to move away from overall services which a lot of centres are offering where anyone can come in. It’s instead going to be much more targeted.”
Graham Ebers, strategic director of resources, added: “It’s part of the general view of being responsible.
“We have to use less money in a more responsible way.
“Rather than cutting wholesale services in an arbitrary manner it’s about focusing at the point where it is of most value for the community.”
Andy Couldrick, council chief executive, said: “We have to ensure the services we are delivering are to the families whose outcomes are likely to be poorer if they don’t receive anything from us.
“It avoids expensive interventions later on, whether that’s by us or the police.”
Despite the cuts, teenagers will benefit from a new centre training young people for work in IQ Winnersh, with £740,000 set aside in this week’s proposed budget.
The Aspire centre, which is set to open in September, will be set up as a modern workplace with a recording studio and dance and drama rooms.
Cllr Haitham Taylor added: “It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for the children of the borough.”