Cuts deal was 'missed chance'
A SCRUTINY panel responsible for examining cuts to children's centres has recommended budget reductions go ahead.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is to cut the children's centre budget by 20 per cent, 10 per cent less than the £2.25 million it planned.
It follows a citywide consultation with centre users and a series of high-profile protests by families.
The council's children and young people's scrutiny committee yesterday recommended cuts go ahead.
It also recommended that cuts to the centres in the budget for 2012/13 are capped at a maximum of a further 20 per cent.
And members also agreed to recommend the centres are rebranded as "Children and Family Centres."
But councillor Dave Conway, chairman of the children and young people's scrutiny committee, criticised the council for arriving at a compromise it could have chosen a year ago.
He said: "Protesters and staff have said from the very beginning that they could manage with 20 per cent but not 30 per cent.
"If we'd done this in the first place we'd have looked far better in the public eye."