At the latest meeting of the City Council’s Creating Opportunities and Tackling Inequalities Scrutiny Committee, Liberal Democrat, city councillor, Darren Fower, was told Werrington Children’s Centre, would now come under the control of Welbourne School.
The move, we understand must be finalised before September 2014.
Council Officers said that at present the cost of services at the centre, to the local authority, was around £87,362 a year.
In the report presented to the Scrutiny Committee, it stated:
Welbourne Primary School to have control over the building and become the anchor tenant. In doing so they will use some of the children’s centre space to extend the school, locating the reception class in the building.
The full cost of maintaining the building will be the responsibility of the school and these costs will be supported by rental income from:
• The pre-school provider that operates from the building;
• Peterborough Learning Partnership having Werrington as their administration and, potentially, their delivery base;
• Ad hoc rental income from organisations that want to use the space.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Darren Fower told us:
“The cost of running the building will now become the responsibility of the school. The hope is that the co-location of the reception class next to the pre-school will improve transition arrangements?
“I made it clear at the meeting, that I wanted assurances local residents should experience very little inconvenience, that the facility must be available to local groups and ownership of the building should remain with the City Council.
“In a later report that evening, we discovered the Council were eyeing up the North of the City, as a place for pupil overspill from elsewhere in the city. So with that in mind, I’m also keen to ensure that local children do not miss out on progressing to Welbourne Primary School when they reach the right age.
“I also asked about assurances that the plan to cover the financial cost was viable and that we would not simply see a complete use of the pupil premiums to cover the Tory Council’s cuts in services.”
- Peterborough Learning Partnership (PLP) will be based in the building which will mean that there will be a constant presence in the centre and will militate against issues with health services around ‘lone working’ arrangements.
- PLP has also suggested that they will want to deliver some training programmes from the building.
- According to Peterborough City Council, “Initial concerns voiced by parents during the consultation period around continuing to access early years’ services locally have been mitigated through the securing of appropriate tenancy agreements for the de-designated centres. These tenancy agreements with identified tenants will secure the delivery of the core entitlement offer as identified above from each of the dedesignated centres.”
- The report states that the full cost of maintaining the building will be the responsibility of the school and these costs will be supported by rental income from the pre-school provider that operates from the building; Peterborough Learning Partnership having Werrington as their administration and, potentially, their delivery base; and ad hoc rental income from organisations that want to use the space.