A local MP alongside Conservative Councillors have rejected a plan to save three Nottinghamshire children’s centres yesterday.
A decision was made by Nottinghamshire County Council earlier to close the three children’s centres in Ashfield, Mansfield and Broxtowe earlier this year in an effort to make £84,500 a year in efficiency savings.
However, at yesterdays Council meeting, Labour and Ashfield Independent Councillors tabled a plan which would see the three centres remain open, but this was summarily rejected by the council – which includes Cllr Ben Bradley who is also the MP for Mansfield.
Controversially at the same meeting, the Conservative-controlled council also approved a hike in Council Tax alongside a £28 million “masterplan” to modernise Council offices.
Councillor Jason Zadrozny, the Leader of Ashfield Council, said “We have millionaires making decisions about single mothers. The Conservatives are utterly out of touch. The Conservatives hiked Council Tax by the maximum amount. In a budget of £512 million – the £100,000 we requested is just 0.01% of their budget.
“They refused to even consider our plans to put £100,000 of funding to protect just 3 centres. This is another example of the callous, uncaring, disgraceful attitude of the Conservatives. We will not forget how they have let Ashfield, Mansfield and Beeston down.”
Nottinghamshire County Council told the Nottingham Times that instead an outreach program will be used as “very few families attend this centre”.
Councillor Philip Owen, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children & Young People’s Committee, added; “Conservative councillors, including Ben Bradley, certainly did not vote to close the Bellamy Children’s Centre service.
In fact, we voted to spend more money ensuring that our children’s services connect with the families that most need our help, whether that service is delivered in their own home, elsewhere in the community, or indeed still from the Bellamy Children’s Centre.
“Unfortunately, some of our political opponents put far more effort into spreading lies on social media than doing anything progressive for Mansfield children, which is probably why Mansfield people trust the Conservatives and the Mansfield Independents to run Nottinghamshire County Council and Ben Bradley to be their MP.”