Fears over service cuts
Town councillors are standing by to campaign to protect services provided by Midsomer Norton children's centre.
The possibility of future cuts in the budget for early years' services at Bath and North East Somerset Council was discussed at a town council meeting this week.
Conservative councillor Michael Evans, a member of the B&NES early years, children and youth policy development scrutiny panel, told fellow politicians of his fears for the younger generation as they backed the formation of a youth council to give teenagers a stronger voice.
Mr Evans told the council that it might have to consider what it could to do to support the centre, with his watchdog panel being asked to examine future potential savings next year.
He said: "Whatever way it is done it is going to bring substantial cuts and it will be of concern to us as we have the Midsomer Norton Children's Centre. We have some resources and we have to look at in next year's budget if we value the service.
"It seems to me the system has not caught up with the science of the crucial early years stage that can make such a difference to our young people later in life."
At the meeting were Juliet Davies and Heidi Lambert from the centre, who told councillors they were concerned about possible cuts to the service. They told councillors that research showed that extra help for children between birth and the age of three could make a major difference to them through their school lives and beyond, with one to one assistance as well as group support.
They said there was a significant need in the area for the services and that children were still living in pockets of deprivation, and being disadvantaged in speech and language development.
The town council agreed to ask its operations working party to look at the future of early years development.