School governor speaks out against cuts at West Chessington Children's Centre

This Is Local London: School governor speaks out against cuts at West Chessington Children's Centre School governor speaks out against cuts at West Chessington Children's Centre

Hard-to-reach families attending parenting classes will suffer most from cuts to a Chessington children’s centre, a governor has said.

Governors at Lovelace Primary School have hit out against a Kingston Council consultation on reducing activities such as sing and sign and play and rhyme at the West Chessington Children’s Centre based at its site in Mansfield Road.

School governor Steve Narramore said: “The governors are completely against it. We want a children’s centre on our site for hard to reach families in our area. They were originally made to reach hard to reach families to help with parenting classes in the first place.

“That sort of ethos has slowly been eroded because they have starved the childrens’ centres out of cash.

“The whole reason for this is to save money. They are going to staff if with staff from Castle Hill (Chessington Children’s Centre). The staff will be stretched so the quality and the quantity of the service will go down.”

Between March to June this year 107 parents and carers brought along 118 children to various activities at West Chessington Children’s Centre.

Kingston Council has a £76,000 approximate budget for the site but hopes to slash it to £24,000.

Mr Narramore said governors were annoyed about the way the consultation implied an emptier children’s centre would be used for afterschool or breakfast clubs for schoolchildren at Lovelace.

He said: “It has got nothing to do with the reasons why they are doing it. We will continue with those clubs that we already run whatever happens to the children’s centre.”

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