Mounting pressure against Hillingdon Council's decision to axe two children's centres has reached new levels after a protest is due to be held on Monday (February 20).

A group of parents affected by changes at the Cherry Lane Children's Centre are holding the peaceful protest in Uxbridge as the fight to keep children's centres open in the borough.

Although the Cherry Lane centre is not earmarked for closure, school staff and parents have said the council changes to children services will be "detrimental".

Parent Kirsten Walters who has been a part of a forum actively opposing the council's propositions, told getwestlondon: "We feel changes will, in the long run, be detrimental.

"At the moment, the school helps run it and it's brilliant because if there are any issues, the centre and the school can work together before the pupil even begins there.

"Every centre has different needs and we're very concerned about the long term effects."

She added: "We decided that since we have tried every other way we know how of letting the council know we as the residents of Hillingdon would like to be put first and for them not to go ahead with all the changes and cut to the centres in the borough.

"We have sent many emails to the council as well as had petitions submitted which were heard at the petition hearing although those that were meant to be hearing the petitions didn't even appear to be listening to what was being said to them."

Nine petitions were heard in the Hillingdon Council Chamber on Wednesday February 1

The gathering will be held at 10am outside the Civic Centre in Uxbridge on Monday (February 20).

The proposals come as part of a £415,000 saving to the council's budget, consisting of £200,000 savings from "children centre expenditure" and £215,000 described as a "review of children centre delivery model".

Hillingdon Council is planning to close centres at Uxbridge College in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes and at Hillside Primary School in Northwood Way, Northwood from April 2017.

Each centre serves around 800 to 1,000 children under the age of five.

Children's centres are 'lifeline' for new mothers

The news of the planned closures has caused an uproar among parents who use the facilities, which run a range of services including respite childcare, counselling and breast-feeding courses.

School staff and parents gathered at the Uxbridge Civic Centre on Wednesday February 1 evening to express their anger and disappointment at a hearing which saw nine petitions be delivered to the council.

Councillor David Simmonds, deputy leader of Hillingdon Council, said about the budgets on the night of the hearing: "As a council we have to set a budget each year and each year we need to make that budget balanced and we look to do that the best way we can by reviewing every aspect of services that the council provides.

"Whilst I am concerned about the impact it will have on individuals, I make no apology for the fact that on behalf of our residents we will always do that, we will always try to see if there's a better, more efficient way to do what we can."

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