Cuts planned for county council kid’s centres

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Councillor Roger Price

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HAMPSHIRE County Council plans to offload 44 SureStart children’s centres.

The council, which must save £55m in 2011-12, hopes the plan, which will see centres across The News’ region taken over by schools, voluntary groups or the private sector, will help save £6m.

A final decision has not been made, but the council will consult on the proposals from January 31 to March 14, with a final decision made in April.

The announcement comes after the council admitted negotiations between it and trades union Unison over overtime pay, have broken down.

It hopes to save £3.2m by stopping overtime for Saturdays and weekdays, currently set at time and a half.

It is considering laying off, then re-employing, 5,500 staff. Their new contracts would not include overtime for Saturdays and weekdays.

Sunday pay would be time and a half.