Save Boxgrove children's centre

COunty Council confirms plan to close Boxgrove

On 29th Jan we had the very sad decision by the County Council to close Boxgrove Children's Centre.

We'll be keeping the website up for now (including all the content on it) but the most relevant information at this point is the following email we've sent out to everyone who signed the petition. Thank you to everyone who supported us.


Dear all,

I'm really sorry to tell you that yesterday the Cabinet at Surrey County Council decided to go ahead with closing 37 children's centres - including Boxgrove Children's Centres. The closures will take place in the next few months.

For those of you interested in the meeting itself, you can watch the presentation of our petition and the rest of the meeting here - item 4 is the petition presentation and item 7 is their decision.

Under the plans approved, children's services in Guildford will now be run out of The Spinney and the Guildford Nursery School children's centres - which will now be renamed as Family Centres.

The children's services which Boxgrove used to provide will instead be done through 'outreach' from the Family Centres. Other services - like health visitors and baby weighing - will be carried out through local community venues instead but details of where and when these will be have not been decided yet.

So the question is: what do we do next?

I'm feeling pretty disheartened but one small glimmer of hope is that the county council says that they intend to turn the closed children's centres into venues which can be used by voluntary services or local councils - as long as the county council doesn't have to pay for them.

This means it might potentially be possible for us to ask for Guildford Borough Council to take over the building so that we can organise for volunteers to keep the centre open for volunteer-led services and as a venue for health visitors and others to come to. If that were to happen then the centre would still be a logical place for staff from the Family Centres to come go to do outreach work.

It wouldn't be anywhere near the same as a proper children's centre but it might at least keep some services accessible locally.

But that's just one idea and I have no idea how feasible it might be.

So if you have any other ideas about what we should do next, or any thoughts on what I've said, then please reply to this email to let me know.

My main feeling is that I don't want to give up but I'm really not sure what to do next - but hopefully together we can some up with some sort of idea to minimise the harm from Boxgrove closing.

But in the meantime, I'd also like to suggest that we try to organise some sort of Thank You card for Liz and the other staff at Boxgrove.

We owe them a lot for all their work over the years and it would be nice to give them a token of appreciation. If anyone would like to help with organising this then please let me know.

I'll be sending out another email in a few days time but, for now, thank you to all of you for all your support with the campaign. I'm just sorry we couldn't get a better result.


George Potter

Surrey County Council is planning to close Boxgrove Sure Start Children's Centre (including its outreach venues in Ripley and Bushy Hill), as well as 30 others across the county.

Instead, families from Burpham, Merrow, Boxgrove, the Clandons, Horsleys and Ripley will be expected to use the Bellfields children's centre - which is already busy serving one of the most deprived areas in the county.

Closing Boxgrove Sure Start is wrong and puts children's futures at risk.

Please support our campaign to Save Boxgrove Children's Centre using the tools below - completing the consultation and signing the petition are the two most important things you can do.