Mothers from the Roundshaw estate rallied together to tell the council the area will ‘sink into a state of mourning’ if their local children’s centre is closed.

The anxious parents attended a meeting with council staff as part of a consultation on the future of the services.

Cuts passed down from central Government mean the local authority has to shave £40m off its annual spending by 2019. The council has announced the Sutton’s children’s centre budget will have shrunk by £175,000 in the 2015/16 budget.

The consultation could result in all of the borough’s facilities being shut down in April next year.

Sutton Council's preferred option is a 'hub and spoke' model, whereby all the services currently provided by the boroughs 14 centres will be offered out of a single facility or a handful of bases. The model also means there will be 'satellite' centres providing some services.

The idea sparked anxiety among many parents who feel the centres won't able to cope with the intensified demand.

At the meeting on Friday January 23, mothers who use the Amy Johnson Children’s Centre in Wallington aired concerns to the council's head of education and early intervention Colin Stewart, and head of integrated services for young children Jackie McCarthy.

Mother-of-two Michelle Brown, who lives in the Roundshaw estate, said: "My child was having trouble with temper tantrums, so I attended a course to help me learn to deal with it.

"I have also been taking my kid there for potty training. On the whole it has helped my children with interaction, teaching them to socialise and have confidence at an early age.

"These places help people to access health services, help parents who have children with special needs, and they also help women who are experiencing domestic violence.

"If these places are closed, children will get missed."

Another parent, who asked not be named, told how the centres boost the sense of community in deprived areas, with mothers quickly becoming friends and supporting each other.

She went to on to say that without the building the Roundshaw estate would ‘sink into a state of mourning." 

Roughly 20 mothers took part in the lively discussion at the Amy Johnson centre, which was also attended by Sutton West councillor and chair of the children, family and education committee Wendy Mathys.

Kajal Cook, who takes her two children to the Amy Johnson Children's Centre and the High View Children's Centre in Wallington, said: "My eldest is very challenging, and as a mother it also really important to just get out of the house.

"I have taken my son to things like messy play, and he really enjoys it and I know it is making him more confident.

"They have also been to potty training sessions. These places really build you as a mother, and without them we won’t have anywhere to go."

The consultation started on January 12, with an online survey to gather parents views open until March 20. Workshops will also be held to engage the community in the future of the centres.

Sutton Council is considering five options, which include retaining the centres as they are, outsourcing the services, or closing them all down.

They are also exploring the idea of sharing services with another local authority.

Coun Mathys said: "Unprecedented Government cuts to our budget mean we have no choice but to significantly reduce the size of the council and the services we offer.

"Our children’s centres are a valuable community resource so it is important that as many users as possible take part in our consultation.

"For that reason, we will be holding workshops between January and March at every one of our 14 children’s centres."

To complete the survey visit: