Merrishaw Day Nursery – rated outstanding by Ofsted – is under threat of closure. Parents have been told that the nursery will close on the 26th August. Merrishaw is one of 8 nurseries around Birmingham facing closure, with parents being offered spaces at alternative nurseries (many of which are run by private companies, and may not have the same outstanding rating as Merrishaw), which are never as close as the current provision, and in some cases are a couple of miles away.
A parents campaign to save Merrishaw has been running, supported by Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts, and this morning they met at the nursery to walk to Hampstead House where the local councillors hold surgeries.
Around 30 parents, grandparents and children were joined by local anti-cuts activists and Richard Burden MP.
Vanessa, a parent of a child at the nursery said
Millie and Charli, two children who attended Merrishaw said
We need to make sure people realise how important Merrishaw Day Nursery is and what a wonderful service they provide
The best thing about Merrishaw was the finger painting because it got really messy. I liked the dressing up and the puppets and the gardens
It was more fun than school and I think it helped with my education because we learned to count to 10 and the colours and shapes. All the workers were really nice and we made lots of friends at the nursery
Bob Whitehead from Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts said:
Richard Burden, Labour MP for Northfield joined parents on the March. You can read what he said last year about community nurseries here. Today he said:
this is a valuable resource to the community, it cannot be downgraded or lost. The council is spending millions on unneccessary consultants they can easily afford a few thousand to keep this open. If the worst comes to the worst Labour must re-open it next May
They are saying no service is being lost … the trouble is they are doing that whilst slashing lots out of the budget … if you are going to do integrated family services properly you can’t do it on the cheap
The group walked from Merrishaw Day Nursery to Hampstead House, where Conservative party Councillor Randal Brew was running the surgery this morning. He met with the group to hear their concerns. He has said he will be meeting other councillors about the nursery on Monday and will report back to the parents about the meeting.
If you want to get involved with this campaign and other campaigns in the area, contact Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts – email StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com, call 07828013091 or go along to their next meeting on Tuesday 16th August, at the Whit Marley Social Centre, 10 Ivy Road, Stirchley (Just off Pershore road on Stirchley high street) from 7:15pm.
If you are a parent at one of the other nurseries, please get in contact with us as we would like to support you to fight these closures – the parents at this nursery made it clear to Cllr Randal Brew that they were against the closure of all nurseries, and not just Merrishaw. Given a concerted effort, we can fight the cuts and keep our services open. Get in touch, and get active with a group in your area.
Update on the campaign: Parents’ outrage at closure