The Red Gables family centre in Crouch End will stay open after Haringey Council changed its mind over the proposed closure.

Councillors admitted this week that they had been wrong to assume that the same services could be provided elsewhere in the borough.

The council had planned to shut down the facility in Haslemere Road because it did not fit into the Government's programme to set up 18 children centres across Haringey, but after a spirited campaign from residents and users, the council has now gone back on its decision.

Liberal Democrat councillors have branded the Labour-led move a u-turn on their ill thought-out plans', but Councillor George Meehan, executive member for youth, said that it was a good example of the council listening to residents.

In October, the Friends of Red Gables Working Party presented a petition signed by 600 people, and have been tirelessly garnering support for the centre since the council's decision to close it earlier this year.

It was originally believed that the multi-purpose centre, which provides support to vulnerable children and families, could be closed to save £260,000, and its services simply moved to other centres, but after consultation Mr Meehan has admitted the assumption was incorrect.

"There never was an intention to stop the service," he said. "These services would have been provided through other centres. We listened very carefully to what people have to say. We always recognised the good service, but we thought that the service could be reprovided elsewhere.

"We were not in a position that we could already provide this service elsewhere, and we do recognise we should continue to do this, after hearing what people said."

The council is now looking at opening three or four children's centres in the west of the borough, although plans to use Stonecroft under-fives centre, Priory Park, Hornsey, appear to have dropped.

Sue Hessel, of The Friends of Red Gables Working Party, said that everyone concerned was delighted with the result, and pleased that the council had listened. "We are very happy," she said. "The whole decision was mad, we had to do the work that the council should have done. We did our homework, and it showed that Haringey Council can be positive."

The council now hopes to move extra services to Red Gables, including support for children with mental health problems and help for mothers with post-natal depression. "The service provided will remain the same and there will be some others provided," said Mr Meehan.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Wayne Hoban said: "The decision to close the centre and deliver the service through 18 children's centres, most of which are due to be located in the east of the borough, was obviously ill-conceived and poorly planned. Red Gables provides a unique and invaluable service to children and parents from all parts of the borough. To replace it with untried and untested children's centres was nothing more than a politically-driven decision, putting political dogma at the heart of decision-making, rather than the needs of service users."