WHEN budget cuts put on hold on a much-needed decoration of the Ledbury Children’s Centre parents and staff broke out the brushes and took matters into their own hands.

The community-spirited action last weekend left the centre looking as bright as a new pin by Monday.

The spontaneous, selfless effort has won the praise of Ledbury’s mayor, Phill Bettington, who said: “I’m very pleased.

“This shows that people can come together when required to do so, and long may it continue, with the economic climate as it is.”

Staff and parents, many of whom had worked long working weeks beforehand, turned up at the centre last weekend to put on overalls and give the centre a serious paint over, rather than wait at least five works to see the walls transformed.

The centre, which is based at Ledbury Primary and managed by Herefordshire Council, was due to be decorated this year as part of the council’s annual maintenance programme.

But budget cuts meant that although the paint had been bought, getting the work done would have to wait until next financial year, April 2013 at the earliest.

Michelle Allam, early years integrated support lead at the centre, said: “We have a warm, inviting and very busy children’s centre in Ledbury and the people who use it are very proud of the facilities we offer.

“With so many families coming through the door, the day-to-day wear and tear was beginning to show, but with budgets being so tight at the moment, we were struggling to get a contractor to come in and paint it this financial year.

“Our parents and staff took matters into their own hands – they have worked incredibly hard and had a lot of fun in the process.

“The results are fantastic and a testament to the community spirit we have here.”

The centre, which is open from 9am to 5pm throughout the week, offers health advice and support services to parents, and early years education sessions.