Over a year ago, local Councillors gave assurances that this valuable resource would remain open. But this
year, that promise has been reversed. Provision for specialist support is to be relocated elsewhere, and child minding is to replace the local, experienced centre. This was despite a recent assurance from local Councillor Les Lawrence that rumours about the closure were scaremongering.
Parents have actively opposed this closure since early 2010. The most recent event was a demonstration through West Heath and a big lobby of a Northfield Councillor’s surgery on Saturday 30th July.
Since then, Councillors Randal Brew and Reg Corns (who was instrumental in establishing the nursery), have asked the council to postpone the closure, pending meaningful consultation. They have been joined in this by Richard Burden MP.
There needs to be further consultation and postponement of the closure as there are still big questions to answer;
When the Department withdrew its proposed reorganisation of Community Day Nurseries in 2010 one of the most powerful arguments that had been put forward was that it took resources away from the South of the City even though South Birmingham has the highest number of referrals in the City (395 between April 2008 and March 2010) and the highest number of referrals to the new 2 year scheme (539). Indeed, the Department’s own report at the time identified that “Children’s centres in the south of the City have less childcare provided as part of their onsite provision which goes some way to explaining the above pattern. It is also the case that there are more under 5s subject to a child protection plan in the south than elsewhere”
On Wednesday 24th August there is to be an open day at the nursery. We are urgently appealing for the local Councillors, the MP, and prospective Councillors for 2012 to attend at 12pm and declare a reversal of the closure decision and to change the nature of the event from a wake to a celebration.
Merrishaw Parents and Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts
If you want to get involved, contact Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts: StirchleyAntiCuts@Gmail.com