‘Menston children’s service cuts would just shunt problem next door’

Ilkley Gazette: Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth

Plans to close a children’s centre in Menston will impact on people in the surrounding areas, a councillor is warning.

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth says the closure proposals put forward by Bradford Council will have a detrimental effect on people in his own ward, which falls under the remit of Leeds.  Coun Wadsworth said Bradford Council was expecting people who use the centre to travel all the way to Keighley if it was closed. But he believes they are more likely to travel across the local authority border to Guiseley and Rawdon to use services provided by Leeds City Council.

He said: “I feel that these proposals brought forward by Bradford Council are very short sighed and will potentially place a greater burden on services in my ward and surrounding Leeds Council wards.

“I would like Bradford Council to reconsider these proposals and look to find a better proposal that addresses the question of how far the residents of Menston would have to travel to access Bradford based services.   “I would also urge residents who access children’s centre services in the Guiseley and Rawdon ward to make sure they comment on the public consultation being undertaken by Bradford City Council to make sure that their views are taken into account.”

Labour-run Bradford Council’s budget proposals include plans to close seven children’s centres across the district with a “lower need”.

The proposed closure of the seven, including Menston and Burley and Ilkley, would save the authority £2.4m and form part of a plan to save £3m from youth services over the next two years.

But local councillors and people using the centre have reacted angrily to the plan.

A petition against the closure has been started and can be found in post offices, doctors’ surgeries, cafes and in local chemist shops or an online e-petition can found on: epetition.bradford.public-i.tv/

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