WELFARE hubs delivering early-years help for children and their families are to be scrapped at four more locations in Burnley, Ribble Valley and Pendle.

Senior councillors this week confirmed support for vulnerable youngsters would cease to be delivered later this summer from the current base at Walton Lane Nursery in Nelson despite a campaign to save it.

Similar children and family wellbeing service provision will also be axed at Clitheroe’s Ribblesdale Children’s Centre, Burnley’s Stoneyholme and Daneshouse Young People’s Centre and Padiham Young People’s Centre.

But Lancashire County Council’s cabinet decides to retain the service at The Zone in Nelson, The Zone on Clitheroe, The Chai Centre in Burnley, and the Whitegate Children’s Centre in Padiham.

It also spared provision from Longridge Young People’s Centre and the town’s Willow’s Park Children’s Centre from the axe. Early years support is to be removed from two bases at Whitworth Young People’s Centre and Children’s Centre in Rossendale with new merged hub operating from the town’s library.

The cabinet decision, after a consultation exercise considering the future of the service from 14 buildings, completes the process of reducing the number of welfare hubs from 76 to 57 across the county council’s 12 boroughs to save £1.2million.

In November, the Cabinet decided to withdraw the service from 12 centres including Fairfield Children’s Centre in Accrington, Great Harwood Young People’s Centre, Earby Community Centre, and, Colne Young People’s Centre.

Nelson East’s Cllr Azhar Ali, leader of the county council Labour group, who spearheaded the campaign to save the service from Walton Lane Nursery, said: “This is a series of shocking decisions.

“It will hit vulnerable families and children often those with special educational needs hardest. There will be a knock-on effect on other services delivered from these buildings.

“The decision to withdraw provision from Walton Lane is particularly shocking as it means this officially outstanding nursery will now struggle to keep going.”

Burnley MP Julie Cooper said: “I am delighted this vital service is being retained at The Chai Centre but sad it is being withdrawn from elsewhere in the borough and across East Lancashire.

“The service is not a luxury they are essential to many families and many communities.” County council health boss Cllr Shaun Turner said: “There were too few staff covering the buildings and some of them were only delivering a service once a week.

“Freeing up these buildings means a far more effective service can be offered from those that remain.

“It must be remembered that 97 per cent of the total service is delivered into family homes.”