TWO children's centres are going to be moved under council plans to save money.

The Ryefield Centre in Ross-on-Wye and Leominster Coningsby are the only two of the county's ten children's centres which will be moved.

At Herefordshire Council's cabinet meeting on Thursday, councillors heard that the county council is working with Ross-on-Wye Town Council to instead provide children centre services at the Ross library and The Old Chapel in Cantilupe Road (which is currently vacant and owned by the town council).

While Coningsby children's centre will be relocated to the council’s multi agency office (next door) and additional activities will be provided at Leominster library.

Honeybees nursery will be granted a ten year lease at a rent of £16,000 per annum for use of Coningsby centre. It is not clear what will happen to the Ryefield Centre in Ross.

Cabinet member for young people and children's wellbeing, Jonathan Lester, said the council needed to look at the future use of children's centres due to the change in the nature of service provision and the council's need to get best value for money from its buildings.

Assistant Director Communities Natalia Silver said the council will be making "savings around efficiencies rather than reducing services."

She said through increasing revenue by earning an income through the use of their current buildings, the council could save £100,000.

Cabinet agreed that Greencroft, Broadlands and Ledbury children's centre buildings should be operated by the schools on site under agreements with each school to deliver 0 to 5 year services including hosting health and midwife clinics.

Kingstone children's centre building will be operated by Kes Childcare for 0 to 5 year services based upon reaching appropriate agreement with Kes Childcare for lease of the land and building.

The council does not propose any changes at HOPE Centre in Bromyard, which is independently run; at South Meadow in Hereford; or at Peterchurch where the centre is run in the village church.

Ms Silver told the cabinet meeting that the Widemarsh Centre is one of the most popular centres in terms of uses and will continue to run as it is, but it is also proposed that the council can earn income by renting out space to a private nursery.

The children's centres support children under the age of five and their families.

The HOPE Family Centre – based in Bromyard - is asking as many people as possible to respond to another Herefordshire Council consultation exercise.

Herefordshire Council deliver all children’s centre services across the county, apart from within the Bromyard area, which is managed under a service contract with The HOPE Family Centre. This contract is due to expire in March 2018. 

The council would like to hear the views of residents, users and their families in order to shape the way it provides such services in the future.

Its proposals can be seen in the questionnaire – copies are available from The Hope Centre and can also be accessed via the consultation link at until Saturday, September 30.