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Dartford and Gravesham children's centres under threat in Kent County Council plans

PUBLISHED: 16:16 08 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:16 08 July 2013

More than 20 children's centres could close across Kent in cost-cutting measures, including ones in Dartford and Gravesham.

Kent County Council is looking to shed £1.5million a year from its budgets, and Daisy Chains in Meopham Library, Little Painters in Dashwood Road, Gravesend and Maypole in Franklin Road, Dartford, are among those that have been earmarked for closure.

Kent County Council (KCC) has proposed 23 closures while another 10, including Temple Hill in St Edmunds Road, Dartford, could operate on a part-time basis.

Council chiefs are suggesting 16 lead centres are formed, which already provide services for a larger number of families.

The bigger centres, which under the plans will be known as Children’s Centre Plus, will have to work more closely with GPs, schools and health visitors.

Cllr Jenny Whittle, KCC cabinet member for specialist children’s services, said: “We believe that the ones that should remain open are those in communities with high levels of need, but we want to make sure that all parents can access a children’s centre - within a 15-minute drive of their home.

“Most of the centres that we’ve identified as suitable for closure are those that operate on a part-time basis.”

KCC has launched a 12-week consultation on the plans. To have your say, visit www.kent.gov.uk/childrenscentres.

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