Fears that Halstead’s children’s centres will struggle to cope with slashed opening hours have been overruled.

On Tuesday, Essex County Council cabinet members approved a report recommending that the Rainbow Children’s Centre in Sible Hedingham drops from 32 hours per week to five and Valley Children’s Centre in Earls Colne goes from 40 hours to 10.

The Acorn Children’s Centre in Beridge Road, Halstead, will remain open for 40 hours and will provide an extra 10 hours of telephone service.

Halstead Town Council had written to County Hall asking that village centre opening hours were not cut as councillors believed it would put the Acorn Centre under too much pressure.

Parents and childminders who use the centre have also echoed their concerns.

County councillor James Abbott criticised the plans which he believes will cost more in the long term, such as with health costs.