Hailsham: County reviewing children’s service centres

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CHILDREN’S services could be moved in Hailsham as part of a cost-cutting exercise by the county authority.

East Sussex County Council has been reviewing buildings catering for children’s services as part of plans to find more than £20m worth of savings from this year’s budget, ‘largely because of significant cuts in the various funding streams we get from Government’, a county spokesman said.

There are two children’s centres in Hailsham – in Dunbar Drive and Vega Close – which are under review to see if services can still be provided for families but from fewer buildings.

The specific proposals for changes will be announced with a consultation likely in the new year, the county spokesman added.

He said: “We have had to carry out a fundamental review of all the services we provide and our priority has been to protect, wherever possible, services for the most vulnerable children and families. 

“As far as children’s centres are concerned we are in the process of reviewing our premises, including those in Hailsham, with a view to making savings, and this may mean the closure of some buildings.

“However this will not mean cutting services - we are looking to see if we can still provide access to services for all families from fewer buildings.

“No final decisions have yet been made, however, and any changes will be subject to consultation.

“We expect to announce possible changes and begin consultation from January.”

County has also launched a public consultation about a proposal to close Firstfields day service centre for adults with learning difficulties in Hailsham. Services would be moved to an alternative facility in Eastbourne (Linden Court) if a recommendation goes ahead, saving nearly £100,000.