Leeds child services face £22 million funding cut

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New details have emerged about how reduced budgets will impact on children’s services in Leeds.

Leeds City Council’s children’s services department looks set to lose nearly £22m of its overall budget next year.

Officials hope that under their proposals they will be able to save thousands of pounds by reviewing its subsidies for Herd Farm and Lineham Farm.

The two centres provide activities to support some of the city’s most vulnerable children.

The budget could see savings of £166,000 made by reducing the subsidy for Herd Farm and savings of £70,000 by reducing the subsidy to Lineham Farm.

The plans, which are set to be reviewed, could see a further £160,000 of savings made by reviewing support for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Education bosses face a reduction of nearly £2m in the funding for children’s centres.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services, said:“This year we are facing some very significant financial challenges, which when considered alongside an increase in demand caused by a 32 per cent increase in birth rate over the past decade, means we need to look creatively at how we can stretch our budgets but with minimal impact on services.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Award, Herd Farm, Lineham Farm and Armley Lazer centre offer some fantastic opportunities to young people and we intend to protect these as much as we can.

“We are looking at different business models like community asset transfer.

“We are not looking at reducing what is on offer to young people at this stage although the services may need to be provided in a different way.

“Unlike other local authorities, we have pledged to keep all of our children’s centres open.”

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Coun Judith Blake.

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