Hampshire Sure Start campaigners protest over centre closures

Protesters outside Lyndhurst Community Centre The closures are part of plans to save £8.5m from the council's budget and would see 54 centres reduced to 11

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Campaigners have voiced their anger over plans to close more than 40 children's centres in Hampshire.

A dozen protesters demonstrated outside Lyndhurst Community Centre in an attempt to save the county's Sure Start centres.

The closures are part of county council plans to save £8.5m, resulting in the 54 existing centres being reduced to 11.

The council has encouraged the public to have their say on the proposals.

'Families in real need'

Children's services councillor Keith Mans, said: "We want people to come forward with constructive suggestions.

"We need to work together to ensure when we have to make savings they are made in a way that minimises the effect on the front line and more importantly - the families that are in real need."

Sure Start centres under threat include centres in New Forest, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Winchester and the Test Valley.

Public consultations on the proposals are being held across the county until May.

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