Consultations on the closure of Bucks’ children’s centres have been branded a “shambles” and the county council has been accused of “playing with vulnerable people’s lives” as it pushes forward with the controversial plans.

Last week campaigners said they will continue fighting the closure of the 35 centres, which are set to be repurposed, as Bucks County Council (BCC) announced dates for public meetings to discuss the changing services with concerned parents.

East Wycombe Independent councillor, Matt Knight, called for clarity over plans for the early help service at High Wycombe’s Local Area Forum (LAF) on Monday (March 5).

He said: “The consultation was completely shambolic with conflicting information and information had been changed halfway through.

“I still have no idea what is going on regarding hubs – I think there are no hubs now but they were there in the consultations I don’t really know what has happened.

“And I think that is unfortunate now because there has been some confusion in communities, and you need to pick up the pieces of that and try and find out from communities what they want.”

The Micklefield councillor also questioned the short timescale between the public meetings, which are due to be held in April, and the launch of BCC’s early help scheme at the beginning of June.

He said: “I'm not sure what you are asking people, because I can’t see how the information you hear from people during these meetings in March and April can feed into a service that is meant to be starting on June 1.”

Campaigner Alka Dass demanded that the council publish a full list of services that will still be available following the closures, as a number of “anxious, worried and vulnerable” parents are still unaware which services will be kept.

She said: “We can dress it up – but the fact of the matter is you are closing 35 centres down. You can’t fluff it up– you are messing with vulnerable people’s lives here.

“You are making more and more women like me more and more vulnerable and isolated, and it is sad that nobody at BCC can say to us ‘we are closing them down – you need to go elsewhere.”

Julie Tisbury, from BCC, said the focus of the public meetings is to discuss the repurposing of the children’s centre buildings with members of the community.

She said: “The purpose of the public meetings is about repurposing the children’s centre buildings. Yes the new service will be up and running in June because we have already initiated the staff consultation so the new service will come into place in June.

“Repurposing the buildings is a different issue and that is what the PC is about. How we can engage with the community as how to better use those buildings.”