CONCERNS have been raised over the potential removal of a children and family wellbeing service in a community centre.

Around 1,000 people have signed a paper petition requesting Lancashire County Council maintain its children and family wellbeing service at Burnley's Chai centre, on Hurtley Street.

The calls come weeks after the conclusion of County Hall's eight-week public consultation, which ran from June to August, into the proposed reduction in the number of buildings used to deliver children and family wellbeing services across the county.

Bosses at Lancashire County Council have proposed to cut the number of premises from 76 to 59 across the 12 boroughs as part of a bid to save £1.2million. This includes Fairfield Children's Centre in Accrington, Great Harwood Young People's Centre and Ribblesdale Children's Centre in Clitheroe.

The results of the consultation are expected to be revealed next month but parents who use the service at Burnley's Hurtley Street centre have raised concerns their voices will not be heard.

Mum-of-two Siddiqa Sattar, of Grey Street, which is minutes away from the centre, said: "I have recently had a second child and want to use the service with my new four week old son.

"I used the service with my daughter over a year ago, until she turned one, and I still go to the Chai centre for advice because they are always happy to help.

"A lot of families have that positive relationship with the support workers. It will be a devastating loss to the area if the service is removed."

County Cllr Sobia Malik, who represents the area, has urged County Hall to listen to the concerns of residents when considering its proposal during next month's cabinet meeting.

She said: "I'm not sure what Lancashire County Council believe the purpose of a consultation is but I'm disappointed with them presently.

"The fact is they should be gauging the reaction of people who live in these areas. It's not something to just bat away."

Despite the raised concerns County Hall has defended its consultation process.

A spokesman said: "The children and family wellbeing service is a key part of our plans, however the way the service works has changed.

"It's more about providing support direct to people in their home and using locations within the community.

"If approved, the proposal would mean we could provide the service from fewer buildings while maintaining support to children, young people and families in a variety of different ways and places.

"These would include one to one support between a worker and a family and group based sessions held in different community buildings, like a village hall. The results of the consultation will be considered by the council's cabinet in due course."