MORE than 1,100 people have so far given their views on a proposal to shut dozens of children’s centres across the county.

Hampshire County Council launched a consultation on the future of more than 40 centres, including 10 in Basingstoke and Deane, which could close as part of cuts to save £8.5 million.

The plans would see the current 54 centres, which offer a vital life - line to thousands of parents, cut to 11 district hubs next year as a new Family Support Service.

Councillor Keith Mans, executive lead member for children’s services, said: “We are just over halfway through the 10 week consultation period and I am extremely keen that as many people as possible make their views known to us. I am especially keen to hear the views of those that have used and been helped by children’s centre services and early help support.”

Residents, health professionals, voluntary organisations and other stakeholders are being asked to give their views on the proposal.

The new programme would target help specifically to vulnerable families with children who have multiple needs.

Cllr Mans added: “I am conscious that there are parents who are concerned about the proposal to reduce the number of buildings in use across the county. What should be borne in mind is that increasingly, services are being delivered in different and more flexible ways through home visits and use of community venues, therefore requiring the use of fewer buildings.

“A number of organisations who have attended have expressed an interest in running community activities such as parenting groups from the buildings and could be seeking to expand their services to support those with no specific or lower levels of need.”

A consultation will be held at Popley Fields Community Centre, in Basingstoke, on April 19 from 1pm to 3pm.