Golden opportunity for new children's centre

PUBLISHED: 12:41 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 31 May 2010

Golden Acre Community Centre.
Saffron Walden.
November 19, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Golden Acre Community Centre.

Golden Acre Community Centre. Saffron Walden. November 19, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Golden Acre Community Centre.

A COMMUNITY centre in Saffron Walden has been touted as the location for a new service to make life easier for children and parents. The Golden Acre Community Centre on Ross Close could become the home of an Essex County Council (ECC) SureStart Children s

A COMMUNITY centre in Saffron Walden has been touted as the location for a new service to make life easier for children and parents.

The Golden Acre Community Centre on Ross Close could become the home of an Essex County Council (ECC) SureStart Children's Centre.

Speaking at a Saffron Walden Town Council meeting on Monday evening, ECC's children community development officer for Uttlesford, Gill Holland, told councillors that Golden Acre would be an ideal location for a Children's Centre.

"It is right in the middle of the community, it is accessible for lots of families, it already has good links with local schools and there is good parking," she said.

The aim of a SureStart Children's Centre is to provide information and advice to parents on childcare and to promote child development and health.

There are 60 centres in operation across Essex, but currently Spangles Children's Centre in Stansted is the only centre of it kind in Uttlesford.

"Our aim is that by 2010 there will be a Children's Centre in every community," said Ms Holland. "The centre in Saffron Walden will reach 600 children between the ages of naught and five living in the town and a further 900 children living in the surrounding villages with an outreach service.

"The centre will be a real benefit to the community and can help mothers who feel isolated and are suffering from post-natal depression as well as helping a child's speech and learning."

Cllr Ketteridge said he would support the scheme and that it would be an asset to the town. He added that the Golden Acre Community Centre "would probably be the only place in Saffron Walden that might be a suitable home for the centre".

Town clerk Malcolm White said that the building, which stands empty for much of the day, would be a suitable location and would not be lost to the community in the evenings and at the weekends.

The issue has been referred to the town council's property and services committee for discussion. Do you think the Golden Acre Community Centre would be a good location for a SureStart Children's Centre? Let us know by emailing alistair.nelson@archant.co.uk.

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