Nursery closure ‘due to Government cuts’

Issue 581

GOVERNMENT cuts are to blame for the axing of a Batley nursery, one of the town’s councillors claimed.

Coun Peter O’Neill said Kirklees Council chiefs had little choice over the future of Batley Central Daycare Centre.

He and his fellow cabinet members voted to close the nursery, off Park Road, at a meeting last week to save £97,000 a year in costs.

Batley Central will now shut on August 31. About 40 children are affected, which left parents outraged.

They claim to have only been told two weeks ago. despite the policy being approved by council officials in February.

There were angry scenes at the Huddersfield Town Hall session where cabinet members debated the issue.

Council leader Coun Mehboob Khan called for security over shouting from the public gallery as tempers flared.

Cabinet member for children’s services Coun O’Neill said afterwards: “We’re unable to maintain subsidies for day nurseries due to government cuts.

“Our priority will be to work with families so the transition from one nursery to another is as seamless as possible.

“We will also do everything we can to support staff in securing alternative employment, where possible, within the council.”

Parent Inayat Nadat, whose two sons attended Batley Central, said: “I’m appalled that the welfare of young children has been sacrificed.

“Kirklees Council should aim to provide for children and parents, particularly for working parents, who are being penalised again.”

Parents were due to meet with Coun O’Neill to discuss the closure on Wednesday. Staff at the centre declined to comment.

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