Nottingham City Council plan to cut at least 7 children centers around the county to save crucial funds after the failure of Robin Hood Energy and the sustained financial impact of Covid-19.
Nottingham City Council has released a comprehensive three-year plan, detailing the council’s plan on how to deliver the budget cuts that were announced late last week.
The plan specifies eight themes that the council will focus on in order to deliver the proposed budget cuts while assessing the risks and the objectives linked to the cuts.
One of the key themes outlined in the plan is the council’s need for a new constitution that aims to improve transparency, governance, and accountability for decision-making within the council.
The decision comes after recommendations from the NSR and external auditor after the council’s failings on the Robin Hood Energy project which had projected losses of £38.2 million which also left 230 workers redundant.
As well as a revised constitution, the council will be reviewing children centres across Nottingham with a view to close the most underused centres.
There are currently 17 children centres across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, with three centres in Ashfield, Mansfield, and Broxtowe being announced as closing late in 2020 by Nottinghamshire County Council.
These cuts have also come at a time where experts have warned “a whole host of children have been lost to the pandemic” as schools remaining closed has meant vulnerable pupils have lost contact with authorities and social services.
Concerns were echoed by children’s charity the NSPCC, which believes there has been a drop in the number of children being referred on to social services in England by school professionals since the lockdown.
There have been worries about what the closures of these centres could do to the mental health of children as throughout the Covid-19 pandemic there have been multiple school closures that are linked to slower development within children.
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, a psychiatrist, said: “Children and young people have been completely neglected during this pandemic – they’ve always been the last to be thought about.”
The council will review all 17 centres in the next month and will have a final meeting on the budget cuts on the March 8 this year.