Children’s services are to be provided from a range of community-based hubs to create more joined-up support for youngsters.

The shake-up, which was given the nod at a meeting of the children, education and safeguarding committee on Wednesday (June 6) will see staff work from children’s centres, youth centres, schools and other locations within the community instead of the current council building at North London Business Park.

According to Barnet Council, this will ensure families’ problems are dealt with more quickly and they are not referred to several different agencies before receiving help.

The council said there will be no cuts to front-line staffing but admitted some management roles will be axed – a move that was criticised by Labour councillors.

Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb, who represents Coppetts ward, said the cuts gave her a feeling of déjà vu and warned the council risked repeating the mistakes that led Ofsted to brand Barnet’s children’s services ‘inadequate’ last year.

Cllr Webb said: “From what I can gather, we are aiming to lose about 20 staff in the reorganisation. If it is not front line, it is management.

“If it is management, then that is how we got here in the first place.”

She also warned that schools might not be able to afford to keep the hubs open, leaving the council with a gap in provision due to planned £1.4 million savings in the family services budget by 2020.

Tina McElligott, the council’s operational director family services, said: “All we have done is to ask staff to work in a different way, so they are not in silos.

“At the moment, we have different teams with a very small number of staff and a high number of managers. We do not want to reduce management capacity.”

The planned shake-up follows a successful pilot of the scheme in the east central, west and south of the borough.

According to the council’s business case, families received better support due to quicker decision-making and better information-sharing between professionals.

Labour councillors refused to back the proposals, but the recommendations were passed after Conservative members voted in favour.