Cash boost for at-risk centres

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Council chiefs have injected hundreds of thousands of pounds into the county’s under-threat children’s centres.

The £322,400 boost from Derbyshire County Council (DCC) will see more advice sessions in the centres, offering families help on a range of issues including housing, debt management and finding a job.

The announcement comes as DCC is carrying out a public consultation on controversial plans to close seven of the centres to save £1.1million.

The advice sessions are run by experts from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and were launched as a report by the Childrens’ Society warned of the devastating effects of debt on families.

Councillor Kevin Gillott, DCC’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Research shows that debt and poverty can have a serious impact on health and can cause stress and family breakdown. It’s often the children who suffer most as they end up worried or getting bullied at school.

“Debt problems are hitting people across the board, including families in work who are struggling financially. This report reminds us how important it is for us as an authority to do what we can to help all struggling families.”