Future of Kensington Children’s Centre assured

Liverpool City Council has today moved to reassure parents and families that use Kensington Children’s Centre that its future is not under threat.

Park Options, which runs Kensington and Yew Tree Children’s Centres on behalf of the city council, has been given notice that its contract is being withdrawn and will be managed instead by a local primary school, saving council taxpayers almost £75k a year in unnecessary management costs. There will be no changes to the services provided to local people, and frontline staff will simply transfer across.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for Schools, Councillor Nick Small, said: “”We are absolutely committed to maintaining our current network of Children’s Centres, but are only able to do this by taking a long, hard look at the money we are spending and taking out surplus costs.

“Park Options currently receive a ‘management fee’ of almost £75k a year, on top of staffing costs. This is no longer affordable in the current financial climate, so we have given them notice that we are going to transfer the management of the centres to a local primary school. It is disappointing that they are indulging in irresponsible scaremongering by wrongly claiming that Kensington Children’s Centre is under threat – it is not.

“Our preference is to continue to deliver Kensington Children’s Centre from the Life Bank, and pay Park Options a fee for leasing their space. However, should they not be willing to do this then we will simply find another building in the area and move the service there.”

In common with other Children’s Centres across the city, the management structure would be streamlined by pairing centres together in order to reduce management costs.