SLIDESHOW: Parents turn out to Wakefield’s County Hall to protect children’s centres

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Parents staged noisy protests against the possible closure of children’s centres after plans emerged for a radical shake-up of the service.

The proposal, which could see up to 14 centres around the district could be facing closure, created a huge backlash, as more than 2,000 people joined online protest groups and three petitions were launched.

Protest outside county hall, Wakefield against plans to close children's centres in the Wakefield district.

Protest outside county hall, Wakefield against plans to close children's centres in the Wakefield district.

On Tuesday, dozens held placards and chanted “save our centres” outside County Hall in Wakefield, where the district council’s cabinet met to discuss the plans.

The previous day around 150 people took part in a protest at Sunflower Children’s Centre in South Elmsall after it emerged that three centres in the south east of the district could close.

At the meeting, councillors decided to go ahead with a three-month consultation over the proposals to centralise 23 children’s centres into six main centres and three “linked” sites, which would offer additional support in areas of high deprivation.

The six remaining main centres would be Airedale Castleford, Oakhill at Featherstone, Pomfret in Pontefract, Cedars at Hemsworth, Sunbeam in Lupset and Castle in Sandal, Wakefield.

 

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