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Key Centre campaigners vow to continue despite council’s reassurance

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IN response to a campaign to save the Key Centre in Frome, Somerset County Council has stated that the family centre is not closing. 

However, campaigners are warning that whilst the threat of closure might not be imminent, the long-term future of the centre is still at risk if the council decides to end the provision of its getset services at the centre.

Currently at the Key Centre, the council’s getset service offers parenting support groups – Bumps and Babes, and Stay, Play and Learn – to families who have ‘additional needs’(level 2). The county council recently held a public consultation on the future of these services across the county, proposing that these services come to an end.

Mendip District councillor, Adam Boyden, who is supporting the campaign to save the centre, told Frome Times, “Whilst we acknowledge that there is no imminent threat of closure, we are concerned that this could happen in the future, especially if the centre loses getset level two services. 

“If the council agree to cut the funding in February and to end this service at the Key Centre, there will be no staff left at the centre – there is currently only one member of staff left from five.

“Without this service, the centre runs the risk of becoming run down and a liability – and if this happens it will no longer be an asset to the council and they could close it. But it is a huge asset for Frome!

“So possibly it could close if cuts continue like this, which is why we are running this campaign. We can avert this crisis, make the centre better – if the town rallies together and supports this campaign. We need to stick up for the people who depend on this centre.”

In response to the campaign, a spokesperson for Somerset County Council said, “The Key Centre at Frome is one of the council’s eight family centres and is not closing.

“Two groups organised by the council’s getset Service (Bumps and Babes, and Stay, Play and Learn) are based at the centre, along with sessions run by health colleagues including clinics, young parents groups, and breastfeeding support groups. Other groups run by volunteers and other partners also operate from the centre.

“A public consultation is seeking views on proposals to stop the support offered to some families who have additional needs. Those proposals would not affect the health sessions, groups run by volunteers and other groups, nor the support for families with more significant needs. The nursery that operates on the site would also be unaffected.”

To support the campaign to save the Key Centre visit: www.change.org/p/somer set-county-council-save-the-key-children-s-centre-frome

More information about the consultation can be found on the website: www.somerset.gov.uk/get setconsultation

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