Mums from Marlow have spoken out about the possible closure of the town’s children’s centres, saying they are “highly valued” for those who use them.

It comes after children’s services in Bucks were rated as inadequate in a damning Ofsted report, which found “critical weaknesses” in the services.

All 35 children’s centres around Bucks were set to be replaced with nine hubs after new plans were given the green light by Bucks County Council, but had to be halted after councillors called in the decision.

Campaigners are arguing for the centres to remain open in light of the inadequate rating, with Alka Dass, of Save Buckinghamshire’s Children’s Centres, asking if it is “really the right time” to potentially close the centres.

She said: “Surely, we should now be focusing on rectifying this situation and concentrating on improving these services.”

Melanie Pugh, who has been visiting the Marlow Children’s Centre with her twins, said the centre had been a “lifeline” for her.

She said: “I have had little support from family as my mother is overseas and my husband’s parents are two hours away. 

“I’ve also been struggling with depression due to the death of my daughter a few years ago.

“It’s made all the difference just knowing that there are people here who can support me and give me practical advice. 

“Most importantly, it’s nice to be listened to and to feel that I’m not the only one going through the trials and tribulations of motherhood.”

Mum-of-twins Lacey Downs said the centre has several families who rely on it as “their only source of support”.

She said: “These centres as well as all others in Bucks are highly valued within the community and attract a good proportion of the community who are vulnerable or struggling, whether that be with children or parents with special needs or ill health, isolated parents and those who have come from overseas and don’t have any family in the UK to support them.

“Most of the isolated families cannot drive. The majority of the families who rely on the play sessions have multiples and some of those have special needs on top.

“Through the hub facility I will be further isolated as we will lose all drop in sessions that appear to be the niceties but are actually needed for parents such as myself to stop me feeling isolated. 

“I’ve met the parents who also feel the same.”

Mrs Dass added: “We feel that this is not the time to be making cuts to children’s centres, this is the time to be re-investing into them. 

“From speaking with children’s centres, we know that some are supporting level three and four cases – these are children that are known to social services. 

“Therefore, by closing any centre, you will be removing any further support children’s services has.

“We as a community need action and reassurance. Children’s safety should be a top priority.”

Marlow Town Council has also called for at least one children's centre in the town to remain open.