Families, community figures and councillors gathered in High Wycombe town centre on Saturday to make their voices heard ahead of a decision that will affect the county's "vital" children's centres. 

Campaigners who have been fighting proposals by Bucks County Council to close 35 children's centres stood together in protest outside All Saints' Church on January 6 - two days before cabinet gave the green light to the closure plans. 

The new early help service will see nine teams of lead family workers working in community settings across the county, including people’s homes, which bosses say will save the council more than £3 million over four years.

The team bases will replace seven of the existing children’s centres along with the remaining two areas – Quarrendon and Buckingham – currently being assessed for “appropriate locations”.

At the cabinet meeting yesterday morning, councillors agreed to start formal discussions over the next six months with schools, early years providers, partners and the voluntary and community sector about how the remaining 28 children’s centre buildings can "best be utilised in the future to maximise their benefit for children, families and communities, within agreed resources". 

Three former mayors joined the protest in High Wycombe on Saturday - Frances Alexander, Trevor Snaith and Cllr Khalil Ahmed, chair of Wycombe Labour - along with dozens of parents and their children, armed with placards and banners. 

Cllrs Julia Wassell, Chaudhary Ditta and Robin Stuchbury also joined the campaign.

Cllr Ahmed said he was "very pleased" with the turn out, adding: "I'm also very pleased to see the cross-party support. It is very encouraging and this is just the beginning of our fight."