Thumbs up for children’s centres proposal

Councillors gave the green light to plans to redevelop the provision of Sure Start Children’s Centres across Calderdale.

The plans will see all 21 centres, including Wellholme Park, Brighouse, and Field Lane, Rastrick, split into two clusters and put out to tender.

Private bidders will be able to apply to run the clusters and potentially sub-contract out individual centres.

However, it does mean that the previous concerns of losing day care provision has been avoided at all the centres.

Councillor Megan Swift, lead member for children’s service, said: “Some of the proposals are not ideal but we don’t live in an ideal world.

“Last year we promised that we wouldn’t close any of the centres and we have managed to do that.”

However, Lib Dem group leader Janet Battye said: “This document still lacks vision. Vulnerable children may be struggling to get day care.”

Also on the agenda was the provision of up to £180,000 for Christmas lights across Calderdale as recommended by the Economic Task Force.

They also agreed the allocation of £250,000 from the Economic Investment Fund to support the Business Boost Grant Scheme, which helps local businesses.

The decisions now go on to Full Council for final approval.