On Saturday 17th February I attended the public meeting with City Mayor Paul Dennett, Salford Labour Councillors, Union members, and hundreds of concerned residents and parents to discuss what can be done to campaign against the proposed closure of five nurseries across Salford, and what can be done to find a solution.
Whilst listening to the nursery staff who spoke, it was clear that they care passionately about the care they give children there and that this is more than simply a job. It was also clear from those parents who spoke that the quality of these nurseries are exemplary and they form a vital part of the fabric of our community.
I am extremely concerned that these five nurseries, which are rated ‘Outstanding’, could be forced to close, leaving hundreds of families having to locate places at private nurseries elsewhere, and leaving dedicated nursery staff without a job.
At the meeting I pledged my full support to the campaign and confirm that I will do anything I can to raise this issue and demand the relevant funding from Government.
On the 21st of February 2018 the 90 day consultation period was suspended so that these actions can take place and as I understand it the position is to halt the consultation for at least 30 days. I will be closely monitoring the progress, and liaising with all parties involved to offer any assistance that I can with the campaign. It is sad to say that I believe this campaign to save the five nurseries is likely to be the first of many against cuts to services over the next few years as the council faces further Government cuts in many other areas.
Since 2010 the Tory Government has taken £186million off Salford City Council; 47% of the budget, which is decimating local services and jobs. The council have already confirmed that Salford have been unable to apply for the government’s flexibility funding due to the eligibility criteria set by the Department for Education. It is clear that the current government does not believe in the public provision of public services, and cares not for the impact to our communities. This ideology is what has driven them to reducing local authority spending in Salford, and across the country.
Enough is enough, we've got to stand together and make sure we fight as a community and show that we're not going to take this lying down.
If you would like to contact me about anything specific that I can help with, or anything you need me to raise please do not hesitate to get in touch at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org