Following consultation Gloucestershire County Council has announced its policy to open 16 “super centres” for children and families.
There will be two such expanded centres for Stroud district – one at The Park in Stonehouse and one at Treetops in Dursley.
The two children’s centres in Stroud in Bisley Old Road and Fiveways in Caincross as well as three centres in Painswick, Nailsworth and Wotton-under-Edge would lose their funding and become community-run.
The county council is holding discussions with schools, community groups and volunteers to take over some of the current services such as clubs, activities, information and health advice.
Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet minister for children and families and the man in charge of the new policy, said the supercentres were being opened in the areas where there is the highest number of families in need.
The county council says the proposal will save £3.2m from its budget which will be reinvested into more children’s social workers.
There was a community outcry when the plans were announced earlier this years.
Critics argued that the proposal will be a false economy as it will focus only on families with existing problems.
Stroud Town Mayor Kevin Cranston said he was disappointed with the proposal to cut services.
“The professionally staffed children’s centres provide an immensely valuable service to a wide variety of people,” he said.
“Research, in Oxfordshire, shows that when they are closed in favour of more focussed social work the number of problems goes up. Any saving will prove to be illusory as higher costs will emerge later.
“While the buildings will remain open there remains the question of who will cover the running costs. It is another example of how cuts in public spending impact upon people’s lives and is something that cannot just be left to the voluntary sector.
“This is a false economy as these centres offer universal support and thus reach families before problems become major concerns and save the public purse in the long run. Under the changes this will be lost.”
A decision on the policy was due to be made today (Wednesday June 8) by the county council’s cabinet.
If approved then tenders will be invited from organisations in July and the new service to come into operation in April 2017.