Milton Keynes children’s home for youngsters with autism faces closure

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A children’s home that houses just five youngsters full-time has been earmarked for closure by Milton Keynes Council.

The Walnuts residential home is on the same Hazeley site as Walnuts special school, which caters for pupils on the autistic spectrum or with social communication difficulties.

This week the council announced a public consultation on its proposal to close the home.

They say the facility currently has five children and young people who live there full time on a 52 week basis, and a “small number” of young people who use the home on a part time basis.

The Walnuts School is the only special school in MK with any form of residential provision.

Parents have already reacted with anger to the loss of the “vital” facility and have launched a Facebook page called Save Walnuts Children Home. They have also started a petition, which already has 500 signatures.

MK Council says the building does not provide an environment that enables children and young people to maximise their development.

There is limited space for the children to play outside and the dining room is shared.

The first consultation event is at Walnuts School on Wednesday 27 June between 5.00 and 7.00pm. The second will be held Thursday 5 July 2017 between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Zoe Nolan, Cabinet member for children and families, said: “The consultation provides an opportunity to consider and develop different types of local provision across the city to ensure the needs of those children and young people currently accessing the home are met.”

Councillor Nolan is urging any interested parties to attend the meeting and give their views.

She said: “We will consider what you say carefully before we develop this area any more.”

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