Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Felixstowe: Fears loss of children’s centre ‘would hit deprived families’

09:00 08 August 2014

Doreen Savage

Doreen Savage

Archant

Community leaders have attacked proposals to close a children’s centre serving families living in one of the most deprived areas in Suffolk.

County councillors are considering the future of the Sea Breeze centre in Langer Road, Felixstowe, one of nine which could shut as part of cost-cutting plans.

The centre is situated in south Felixstowe, regularly identified as one of the 10 most deprived wards in the county, and town councillors fear some people will not be able to afford or to reach the resort’s other centre, The Oaks, in Grange Road.

The council is writing to the county council in the strongest terms, urging it to abandon its plans.

Former mayor Doreen Savage said: “I am concerned that if the Sea Breeze centre closes a lot of people will not have the wherewithal to get up to The Oaks – it might only be 0.9miles but that can be a long way when you have got children.

“I am really concerned that people who might really need help might be disadvantaged by this closure. Sea Breeze provides a real service in an area where it is vitally needed.”

Councillor Mike Stokell said by road from Adastral Close – the estate near the port where many users of Sea Breeze live – was a 5.6-mile road walk there and back.

He said: “Those without road transport are being asked to take a bit of a Dickensian hike.”

Councillor Mike Sharman said: “It’s a huge distance when you are walking with a tripper and children, or by bus you have to take one to the town centre and then another up to The Oaks, and the same back again. The county council doesn’t appeared to have looked at these problems at all.”

Councillor Margaret Morris said the benefits of the work done by children’s centres was often not seen for 10 or even 20 years in the lives of the families they were helping.

Sea Breeze also ran a course to help people affected by domestic violence.

The county council is proposing to close centres at Hadleigh, Thurston, Haverhill, Reydon and Southwold, Lowestoft, Glemsford, and two in Ipswich, to save £2.9million from running its children’s centres by 2017 – but insists services are not being cut.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Children’s centre staff can spend a disproportionate amount of time managing buildings, so for some this would release time that could be better spent with children and families.

“I am absolutely clear that none of the services currently provided by children’s centres will be lost if these proposed changes go ahead.

“Children’s centres provide much-needed support to families and we will do everything we can to ensure those services continue to make a difference to people’s lives.”

1 comment

  • Nothing is ever thought through thoroughly in this town, and nothing is properly accessible to the people that need it most. The Oaks is not in the best place for a large number of families as has already been stated. But consideration is never given properly to anything, the Academy being built where it is, is so far away from families in the Langer Road area of town and also old Old Felixstowe. Those children that have to walk especially in winter will be soaking before they get to school. Also, much praise has been given to the new medical centre, but again many vulnerable people have to get two buses to get there. I know of several people who have changed surgeries because of this. Is Felixstowe serving the townspeople as it should be, its ok if you have transport but in lots of cases certainly not if you haven't.

    Report this comment

    October girl

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Work on one of the biggest new housing developments in Ipswich for years – creating more than 200 new homes – could get under way early next year.

A car which broke down on the Orwell Bridge this morning has now been moved by police.

A couple have thanked Ipswich Hospital for the care staff gave their premature twin nieces by ditching their wedding gift list and asking for donations for the neonatal unit instead.

Amid the maelstrom created by the Steve Wright murders in 2006 London gang violence erupted at a town nightclub and claimed the life of a young man.

Hundreds of readers have already backed the Ipswich Star’s campaign calling for a northern bypass – and it’s not too late to pledge your support.

Police are at the scene of a two-car crash in Bramford Road.

The police hunt for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has been labelled “incompetent” by his mother, as an online campaign has raised more than £20,000 to hire a private investigator.

A new university course is being launched, in Ipswich, which supports people wanting to retrain in order to teach maths in schools.

A 77-year-old widow has told of the hurt and pain she has suffered after necklaces given to her by her husband were stolen from her home by the suspected gang of prolific burglars.

Suffolk children at risk of being taken into care could be offered “short breaks” away from their families to avoid more costly and disruptive long-term solutions.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24