Council to consider other options for library and children’s centre services

health and social care

Posted on: 18 November 2015

Devon County Council says that it’s happy to think again about a potential co-location of some children’s centre services within Crediton library.

The Council recently agreed that a design for the children’s centre to share an area within the library was not feasible, following concerns from some library users that it would reduce the overall library space available.

But the council says that it is committed to the principle at least of a potential co-location, and wants to explore other ideas at the library site.

Its conducting a feasibility study to see whether children’s centre services and the library services can be accommodated together.

In the meantime, Action for Children continues to provide the children’s centre support to local families from a number of locations within the town, and has expanded its services to include outreach into surrounding towns and parishes.

The service supports parents-to-be and young families to promote healthy development of babies and young children. It provides a range of services including advice and support for parents, and access to children’s health services.

Devon’s award winning libraries provide not just reading and learning opportunities, but they are also trusted sources of information and advice about a range of services including residents’ health and wellbeing.

The Council believes that support for young families can sit comfortably alongside the library services, so long as there are equal benefits to people using those services.

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

“We’re keeping an open mind. We are in favour of bringing complementary services together where they can because of the benefits that gives local communities. It’s also a cost effective way of delivering services.

“We want to look properly at Crediton Library and see whether it’s feasible to co-locate the children’s centre, given the space we’ve got. We would want to make sure that any proposal works well for people who uses the services.”

Councillor James McInnes, the Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for children’s service, said:

“The children’s centre has tremendous reach into the community, supporting a lot of children and their parents. Over 80 per cent of the children under 5 in the area already have some contact with the children centre’s services and many will no doubt already be regular visitors to the library.”

The Council has instructed its property management team to look at any other design options, and promises to engage with the local community as it considers if there is any scope for long-term co-location.

Posted in: Community | Health and Wellbeing