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Children’s centre facing closure needs new home, urges councillors

PUBLISHED: 15:10 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:10 12 February 2020

Woodbridge town councillors are hopeful that Suffolk County Council will find a new location for the Caterpillar Children's Centre Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Woodbridge town councillors are hopeful that Suffolk County Council will find a new location for the Caterpillar Children's Centre Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

Calls are being made for a new location to be found for a children’s centre which is facing closure.

Members of Woodbridge Town Council met on Tuesday night to discuss its response to the current consultation being held by Suffolk County Council (SCC) on the future of children's centres.

The Woodbridge-based Caterpillar Centre, in Cumberland Street is one of two centres which SCC has proposed to close.

In its review document SCC said that the centre's current home was "a high cost building" that "cannot be adapted for a nursery provision".

It is proposing to make outreach services available at Woodbridge Library.

During their discussions it was noted that the town council had received correspondence from those concerned by the closure who described it as "much-valued" and important for vulnerable families.

Councillors agreed that it was important for such services to remain in the town but considered that it might be better situated elsewhere in a more suitable location.

One of the suggestions raised by councillors was that the centre could move to the current vacant Red Cross Hall premises which it is believed would provide the parking necessary as well as offering a town centre location.

The majority of councillors were keen not to have the centre's services moved across to Woodbridge Library or moved online.

"I am not opposed to the closure of the physical building," said councillor Geoff Holdcroft.

"The Caterpillar Centre is a very difficult place to park.

"Social media is not going to cut this. This is not good for support for families."

Fellow councillor Sharon Miller said:"A building based service is important.

"We have to be cautious about using just any building."

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed that the consultation over the future of the centres is ongoing until Sunday, March.

"All views and ideas are welcome," said the spokesman.

They encouraged all those who hadn't seen the consultation plans to look on the council's website.

READ MORE: No redundancies for children's centre changes in Suffolk, says council

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