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Consultation on £3.8m savings target for community services

Published Monday, 12 September 2016

Formal consultation on Coventry City Council's proposals to make £3.8m savings across libraries, children’s centres and youth services will begin on Monday (12 September).

Following a period of informal engagement on the proposals published in July detailed consultation will now take place up to Monday 12 December.

Organisations, residents and community groups have already begun talks with the Council around their role in the delivery services in communities.

Cllr Kevin Maton, Cabinet Member for Education, said that it was important that the Council should conduct a detailed consultation. He said: “This gives us a further opportunity to find a way forward where we can work with community volunteers, and other agencies.

“We’ve talked about government spending cuts and unfortunately the consultation is set against a backdrop of a £3.8m savings target.

“We are determined to find the best solution.”

Since 2010/11 the Council’s grant from central government has been cut by 44 per cent.

Any final decision on the shape of children’s centres, libraries and youth services will not be made until the beginning of 2017. The £3.8m savings will contribute to a total of £35million savings needed to be made across all council services.

A consultation period will happen between 12 September and 12 December.

Proposals for libraries would be based on providing, core libraries, partnership libraries and community libraries.

Core libraries would be council-led with more self-service, opportunities for volunteering and a reduced budget and would operate from Central library, Bell Green, Foleshill, Stoke and Tile Hill.

Partnership libraries would be council-led in stronger partnership with community organisations with potential to relocate into community buildings. They would have more self-service, opportunities for volunteering and a reduced budget and include libraries in Allesley Park, Canley, Hillfields, Radford (Jubilee Crescent) and Stoke Aldermoor (Aldermoor).

Community libraries at Caludon Castle School in Wyken, Cheylesmore, Coundon, Finham and Earlsdon would no longer be provided by the Council – although the local authority is seeking interests from organisations and community groups who may be interested in running the libraries.   

A key proposal in the consultation will also be to develop eight integrated family hubs for 0-19 year olds that will bring together youth services and children’s centres. The hubs would be based in communities in the city with the highest need at children’s centres in Bell Green, Foleshill, Tile Hill, Radford, Moat House in Wood End, Middle Ride in Willenhall, Gosford Park and Hillfields.

The Council will be encouraging schools, private, voluntary and independent operators to come forward with proposals to provide nursery provision in the eight buildings. 

The Council will end children’s centre provision in Barley Lea in Stoke Aldermoor, Canley, St Augustines in Radford, Stoke Heath, Richard Lee in Wyken and Spon Gate in Spon End. The Council will also be encouraging schools, private, voluntary and independent operators to come forward with proposals to provide nursery provision in the six buildings.      

Children’s centre contracts would also end at Tommies, Flutterbies and Valley House while The Council would no longer provide universal youth work at 16 locations: African Caribbean Centre for Young People (Freehold Street, Hillfields), Hillfields Young People’s Centre (Yardley Street, Hillfields), Jardine Crescent Young People’s Centre, On Target Youth Centre (Doe Bank Lane, Spon End), People’s Place (Acorn Street, Stoke Aldermoor), Stoke Park Youth Centre, Whoberley Youth Centre, Wood End Youth Centre (The Venny); and Community venues at Bell Green Community Centre, Cheylesmore Community Centre, Hagard Community Centre, Henley Green Community Centre, Jubilee Crescent Community Centre, Stoke Heath Community Centre, Xcel Leisure Centre (Canley) and Baginton Fields School.

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