Nursery parents call on Tulip Siddiq MP to help save services
Council consultation on whether to close four nurseries closed February 12
12 March, 2020 — By Helen Chapman
Parents took their message to Westminster last week
PARENTS fighting to save council-run nurseries have urged Tulip Siddiq to intervene.
Campaigners hoping to persuade the Town Hall to abandon plans to shut down services at Kilburn Grange, Gospel Oak, Konstam in Highgate and Hampden in Somers Town met the Hampstead and Kilburn MP at Portcullis House last Thursday.
Camden is looking to turn the nurseries into new “Sure Start” centres for younger children, while saving £600,000 on its budget.
Ms Siddiq said: “It was good to meet local parents from the ‘Save Camden Nurseries’ campaign. We discussed their concerns about plans to turn some maintained nurseries in the area into Sure Start centres and the consultation that took place earlier in the year.
“I have passed these concerns on and am trying to facilitate a meeting between the campaigners and the council shortly.”
A decision is expected to be made at a council meeting scheduled for April 1 – a key date when the future of Carlton Primary School in Grafton Road, also threatened with closure, is due to be decided.
Parent Yami Manchanda-Corless added: “How can Camden be trying to get parents into work, but removing the safe spaces where the children will be cared for? The true mark of a good society is how it treats those who are the most vulnerable. Routine is important and so is the emotional wellbeing of a young child.”
Education chief Councillor Angela Mason said: “Our proposed new approach would aim to narrow the gap of achievement and wellbeing between disadvantaged children and others in the borough. “The proposed changes also aim to address the high level of vacancies in council and school nurseries and make better use of nurseries based in local primary schools, which would in turn help those schools to recruit more pupils.”