New family hubs to provide a one-stop shop for parents and young children are to be set up in Bolton.

But Town Hall chief chose not to apply to become a “trailblazer” for extra funding for family hubs.

The Bolton News reported in August last year, the borough had been successful in obtaining a slice of £300 million of Government funding to set up the new hubs in the heart of the community.

The family hubs will be set up across the borough to provide one stop shops for early years care after Bolton was one of 75 council across the country chosen.

But a meeting of the council’s children’s scrutiny committee heard how the authority decided not to apply to be one of 14 “trailblazers” which will get extra funding to go “further and faster” in setting up the new hubs.

Assistant director of children’s services Paul Rankin said: “It’s something we chose not to do and that reason being was coming back to some of the timescales that were put on us on how we had to react and the capacity we had to move forward with the council.”

In total, £301.75million will be spent on family hubs in 75 areas, including Bolton, all over the country.

Across the 75 boroughs £81.75million will be spent on the hubs themselves with £10million on a Start for Life offer £50million for parenting programmes and £10million for infant parent mental health support.

There will also be £50million spent on breast feeding support and £10million for workforce pilots in some areas.

Town hall officials hope that the family hubs will develop into a universal service similar to Start Well Centres.

But the 14 trailblazers, which will now not include Bolton, will be receiving extra funding to help them be more innovative with delivering services and to share what they have learned with other areas.

Mr Rankin said: “It’s something that we obviously want to trailblaze as much as we can but we have to pick our opportunities in terms of what we go for and what we don’t.”

He added: “We should be able to get to the same point as those authorities that are trailblazers over the course of the programme, so we don’t think we’re going to miss any opportunities.

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He had been responding to questions put by Cllr Sean Fielding, who represents Breightmet.

He says he is glad to see facilities like the old Sure Start centres reappear but is concerned about that the government at making councils like Bolton jump through “unrealistic hoops” to get funding.

Cllr Fielding said: “Their answer was fair, the tight timescales for spending money made it unrealistic that we could have delivered what was expected in time if we were a trailblazer.”

He added: “Family hubs are effectively a reinstatement of the Sure Start services the government abolished years ago.”