This summer, a significant proposal to close almost all Bexley Children’s Centres was put forward for public consultation, with the aim of never reopening any of the council-run centres (which had closed due to the pandemic) and making all LB Bexley staff working for the service redundant at the end of 2020.

The public consultation gave no details or evidence for these proposals, was buried behind pages of questions about parking charges and bus lanes, and did not provide us with answers to any of the questions we and the staff raised during it.

UNISON Bexley branch therefore strongly put forward the case that this consultation was not meaningful and no decision should be made on the basis of it. We argued that the consultation should be run again with more options and details put forward and timescales pushed back accordingly.

Tonight (17 Nov 2020) at Public Cabinet, councillors agreed to do this, keeping our members in their jobs for at least most of 2021 and enabling the centres to potentially reopen (after lockdown lifts) for the first time since March, helping vulnerable families across the borough access important services.

This shows what a difference it can make to have UNISON on your side – please help us share the good news with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to join UNISON!

Read our full response to the Children’s Centres consultation (PDF)