Mums hand in 1,400 signature petition to keep Cricklewood children’s centre open

Barnet Council set to announce recommendation to close centres on Monday, February 7

A CAR full of mothers and their children traipsed across North London to deliver a 1400-signature petition and a Valentine’s Card to a Council threatening their beloved children’s centre with closure.

Maggie Groome, of Marnham Avenue, Cricklewood, a mother of two turned activist, spent weeks collecting the signatures with other mums as the reality of losing the community, educational and support services at Child’s Hill Children’s Centre, in Gillingham Road, dawned.

The petition called on Barnet Council to guarantee the future funding of the centre and its teacher.

A grumpy council worker took the petition from Ms Groome at the council offices in Oakleigh Road South, Brunswick Park, but refused to take the Valentine’s card or have her picture taken.

Ms Groome, 32, said: “We did brilliantly getting 1,400 signatures; we couldn’t have done any more, hopefully Child’s Hill will stay open now.”

Barnet Council is consulting on closing around half of its children centres as it seeks to cut costs in light of government cuts.

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The centres offer pre-nursery support and teach parenting and baby skills as well as providing somewhere for mums to meet up and share the problems.

But Ms Groom, who has been courting the media in a bid to raise awareness, said the Council is only too aware of their campaign after now banning journalists from the centre.

A decision will be made by Barnet Council on the closure of the children’s centres on February 14.

A spokesman for Barnet Council said they would announce officers’ recommendation to councillors on Monday, February 7.

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