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Protest planned in Thetford against proposals to close down children’s centres

PUBLISHED: 13:37 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:38 18 October 2018

A protest will take place at the Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford, against proposals to close children's centres. Pictured is the protest at County Hall, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A protest will take place at the Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford, against proposals to close children's centres. Pictured is the protest at County Hall, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Parents and campaigners will come together in Thetford to protest against Norfolk County Council’s plans to close children’s centres across the county.

Protesters will be joined by Alex Mayer MEP at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Staniforth Road, this Friday at 3.40pm.

They will protest against the county council’s decision to continue with a consultation over proposals to shut down 46 of 53 children’s centres

The public is being asked for their views over the proposals, with drop-in events taking place in Norwich, Dereham, Cromer, King’s Lynn, Wymondham and Great Yarmouth.

Alex Mayer MEP said the gathering at Thetford will also serve as a consultation meeting for parents to discuss the impact of these closures.

Speaking ahead of the Thetford protest, Ms Mayer said: “These cuts show that while Theresa May can proclaim that austerity is over, deep cuts are still being carried down by Tory councillors across Norfolk.

“I am pleased to be able to join parents and local councillors to hear from them about the impact of these closures and I call on the Tories at Norfolk County Council to think again and stop these cuts to vital children services.”

But councillor Stuart Dark, chairman of the children’s services committee, said the council can better support families by delivering services in local communities and providing online help “rather than spending our money on running and maintaining buildings.”

He added: “It is a concerning fact that just under 25pc of families in our most disadvantaged areas do not currently access children’s centres and we want to make sure that there is more for those most in need.”

Thetford councillor Terry Jermy said Friday’s protest will allow parents to find out more about the proposals and submit their views on the council’s official consultation.

“These children’s centres in Thetford are very well used and provide crucial services for local families. Their closure will be devastating for many,” Mr Jermy said.

More information about drop-in events and an online consultation can be found at: norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/childrenscentres-2.

The consultation closes on Monday, November 12.

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