Children’s centre and library to be housed together

Posted on: 20 July 2015

Plans are underway to safeguard the future of two vital services in Crediton.

Devon County Council is proposing to move the town’s children’s centre into the nearby library on Belle Parade in order to save money and improve the services on offer.

Run by Action for Children, Crediton Children’s Centre supports families in Crediton and the surrounding area with their children’s wellbeing, safety, health and development needs through individual support, parenting programmes, play sessions, holiday activities and information services.

Last year the Council launched a series of consultations looking at how they could better provide the services that Devon’s resident’s value, at less cost.

As a result work is underway to establish a staff and community owned ‘mutual’ which would be commissioned by the County Council to run libraries on their behalf from April 2016.

Contracts for children’s centres are also being re-tendered with emphasis on protecting services that targeted those most in need.

Now the Council is looking to co-locate services so that they can share running costs and improve facilities, as well as create the opportunity to generate income by renting spaces when they are not being used. The move will also mean more activities can be offered as they can be run jointly by the two services.

Councillor James McInnesCllr James McInnes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibly for Children and Young People’s services, said:

“We know that children’s centres and associated services are vitally important to help support families across Devon, and we are committed to protecting them.

“But with budgets continuing to be squeezed, we need to be more business-like and find ways to provide this support to families at less cost.

“Housing these two vital services under one roof means our funding is being used more creatively to deliver services rather than being spent on buildings.

“By working in partnership with other Council services, such as the local libraries, we can save money and improve the range of services and activities on offer.”

Cllr Roger CroadCllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the library service, said:

“It is important that we provide residents with better facilities to meet their changing needs.

“Libraries are important resources at the very heart of our communities, so it makes sense for them to house the services people need to use frequently.

“By combining a range of services under one roof we will save money and focus on the services people value most.

“Increasing community use of our library buildings, and incorporating other services such as this one, will develop our libraries into a new generation of community facility that residents of all ages will make excellent use of for many years to come.”

Cllr Nick WayCllr Nick Way, Devon County Council’s local Member for Crediton Rural, said:

“It is important that both of these well used services are provided with a good base to work from here in Crediton.

“While space for both will be affected because of the move, the need to work within budgets that are currently being squeezed by central government is unfortunately a necessity.

“The priority for us in Crediton must be for the Council to continue to keep the services operating efficiently for those who use and depend upon them.”

Further information about the proposal will be available at the library later in the year for people to share their views.

Posted in: Community | Health and Wellbeing