A MOTHER of two has started a petition to save Burnham's Children's Centre, which she describes as “a lifeline” for families.

Somerset County Council said the town's Octopus Children's Centre is set to be one of 18 across the region to be “de-designated”, seeing the existing 41 centres drop to 23.

Parent Michelle Jarvis, whose daughters used the centre, has started a petition called 'Save The Octopus Children's Centre'. It reads: “We strongly feel there is a serious possibility of families and lives being made worse or even put at risk by the possible 'de-designation' of Octopus Children's Centre.

“We are also concerned the great experience and skills of the existing staff will be lost, and not necessarily available with the extra 'front-line staff' planned.”

Although Highbridge CC would continue to operate normally, five centres, including Octopus CC, would be 'de-designated', meaning they will no longer be classed as Children's Centres and some services will be re-located.

Michelle added: “We've been handing out hard copy petitions and we have also started one online calling for Cllr Francis Nicholson to meet with us and see how well-used the services at Octopus CC really are.

“I understand the council needs to save money, but Octopus CC is a lifeline for families.

“My daughter was diagnosed with a hip condition when she was three; at the same time I was dealing with the loss of a loved one and staff at Octopus CC were fantastic. Without their support I don't know how I would have coped.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are developing proposals to consult on and will publicise details when we can. Consultation will not be about ending Children's Centre Services or closing buildings - every community that currently has Children's Centre activities will continue to have them.

“The consultations will be about the best ways of providing them in those communities.

“Whatever the outcome of the consultation, services will continue to be provided in Burnham, through the current children's centre building and other suitable places in the local community.”

To sign the petition click here.