PARENTS across Salford have spoken out about the potential closure of five local authority nurseries.
The fear of closure comes after the government have reduced Salford City Council funding by 50% since 2010.
A further £11.2 million reduction on funding for Salford City Council in 2018 strikes growing concerns for the future of 5 local authority nurseries, the equivalent to a loss of £60,000 per day.
The nurseries that could be closed are: Little Hulton Day Nursery, Barton Moss Day Nursery, Higher Broughton Day Nursery, Belvedere Day Nursery and Winton Day Nursery.
Lisa Stone, Councillor for Eccles, posted this to her Facebook page to inform families and workers across Salford that their future’s could potentially be in threat:
Quays News spoke to Gillian Aimson whose daughter attends Belvedere Day Nursery and struggles with development delays.
She said: “The staff at Belvedere have had special training to deal with children like my daughter who need additional help and support.
“Since she has been attending there she has shown a massive improvement in things that she does .. and that’s all down to the excellent qualified staff.
“She has done so well in such a short period of time & now with the threat of it closing i’m very concerned she is going to have a major set back.[pullquote]”She has done so well in such a short period of time & now with the threat of it closing i’m very concerned she is going to have a major set back.[/pullquote]
” I’m very upset and concerned that if Belvedere was to close she will lose all the help she is getting & will end up in a special needs school.”
Quays News also spoke to Dani Louise, whose son attends Barton Moss Day Nursery.
She said: “I’m really worrying because my son doesn’t mix well or settle well, and there’s staff in the nursery that he goes to for support. I feel safe leaving my child there, I have so much trust in the staff and as a parent working full time you have to have that trust.
“The staff were crying at the nursery on Friday, I was talking to the manager and she was getting upset thinking what is going to happen to all the children.”[pullquote]”The staff were crying at the nursery on Friday, I was talking to the manager and she was getting upset thinking what is going to happen to all the children.”[/pullquote]
Dani suggested that the council take funding out of other areas such as Salford Red’s stadium and use these funds to reinvest in the nurseries.
Dani said that since the news the council have not offered any help or updates. She added: “The council have offered us nothing, but the nursery said they will support us all in helping finding alternative nurseries. But you know that’s coming from the nursery not the council.”
The closures could have devastating affects across Salford.
There will be a meeting on Saturday 17th February between 11am-1pm at Hemsley House, 41-42 The Crescent, Salford M5 4PE for the public to discuss what can be done to protect these Salford nurseries.
UNISON, the trade union that represents the workers, has called this public meeting. The meeting takes places a week before the official council meeting on February 28th.
Not only is the loss of jobs and movement of children a massive concern for the residents of Salford, but the funding cuts could also mean an increase in council tax by 4.99%.
A petition has been set up by the public to save these Salford nurseries, you can read more about the petition here.
The closure proposal has caused huge uproar with many parents and workers linked to the affected Salford nurseries, with many taking to social media to express their opinions.
By closing my sons nursery? Upped my council tax and for what? Less services. Absolute robbery. You should be ashamed!
— Andrew Marsh (@M47SH) February 10, 2018
Mayor Paul Dennett said in a statement that he believes government cuts are disproportionately hitting poorer local authorities, like Salford, where cuts to certain areas of service provision lead to cost pressures elsewhere.
Before any final decision, there will be a 90 day consultation period running from February 26th until May 28th. Within this time period, the council are urging as many proposals from parents, the public and staff to try and find a potential solution.
For any more information, please visit the council website.