Your views sought on Early Help Offer

​Ref: PR 4632
Date: 08/07/2014

The people of the Wakefield district are being asked for their views on the future of the Early Help Offer for children and families. 

Our Cabinet today agreed the start of a three-month consultation from 15 July to 15 October which will include an online questionnaire and seven public events for people to express their views.

The consultation comes as we discussed how best to save £2.5m from the children's centre budget and heard proposals for a new Early Help Offer for the most vulnerable families in the district. The proposals include a plan to deliver some existing services through community centres, new Hubs and others in the family home.

Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We understand that cuts to budgets are unpopular but we have no choice. We need to make £185m of cuts by 2020 and have delivered one-third of these to date.

"No decision has yet been made on children's centres and we have already seen the strength of feeling people have for them.

"Although the proposal is to stop operating some children's centres, it is not a proposal to stop offering the services they provide. We want to provide the services that families need in the most effective way.

"I'd urge people to give us their views via the online survey or at an event so we can factor this into our final decision-making later in the year."

Public events will be held between 6pm and 7.30pm on:
• Tuesday 9 September at The Hut, Kershaw Ave, Airedale, Castleford
• Thursday 11 September at De Lacy Primary School, Chequerfield Lane, Pontefract
• Tuesday 16 September at Chesneys Centre, Regent Street, Pontefract
• Thursday 18 September, Ossett Town Hall, Market Place, Ossett
• Tuesday 23 September, The Grove, Stockingate, South Kirkby
• Wednesday 24 September, Havercroft and Ryhill Sports and Youth Centre, Mulberry Ave, Havercroft, Ryhill
• Tuesday 30 September, St Michael's CE Academy, Flanshaw Lane, Wakefield

People can also give their views online from July 15 by visiting www.wakefield.gov.uk/IEHO

ENDS